Car Makers Look To Cut the Cost of Recalls: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

Faulty software costs car makers $500m in recalls. What are they turning to and what could that mean for you?

Nio ES8 SUV on showroom floor
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The auto market is a mainstay of the economy, and a sector that generates significant interest whether from people looking for ways to buy cheap cars to affording luxury cars to getting the best car insurance rates. So to help, our highly-experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You will get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest forecast…

As faulty software becomes a more common reason for vehicle recalls, automakers are increasingly looking to save money with remote updates, which remove the hassle and cost of bringing a car to a dealership or mechanic.

In-person software updates for U.S. auto recalls cost half a billion dollars annually for car manufacturers, according to ABI Research. In 2022, nearly 10 million cars were recalled in the U.S. due to software-related issues. 

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Nearly half of those had to go to the dealership for an update. Automakers could save $1.5 billion by 2028 by shifting to over-the-air updates, says ABI Research. 

Tesla leads the way with remote updates, but others, such as GM, aren’t far behind. Automakers also have big plans to profit from paid updates and self-driving features. For example, Tesla has a $100 monthly subscription for driver-assist features.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter. Since 1923, the Letter has helped millions of business executives and investors profit by providing reliable forecasts on business and the economy, as well as what to expect from Washington. Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe.  

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The Kiplinger Letter editors are a team of seasoned reporters and editors who specialize in different subject areas. They uncover emerging trends and foresee future developments that will affect the economy, financial markets, specific industries, and ultimately, your business, investments and financial affairs. For over a century the Kiplinger Letter's team has provided concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington.