Typically, when companies issue a product recall they put out adverts in the print and broadcast media, send emails and phone customers.
But the car manufacturer Toyota is trying another approach - crowdsourcing.
Toyota has teamed up with the Carma Project to use crowdsourcing tied to cash incentives for the years-old but still incomplete Takata airbag recall.
“The effort is a recognition that traditional ways of reaching consumers aren’t working, even with this heavily publicized safety defect,” said Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center.
“It’s gotten to the point where any extra push to get these potentially deadly airbags replaced is worthwhile.”
Large and Complex Safety Recall
The airbag recalls is "the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history" affecting vehicles made by 19 different automakers. The airbags were mostly installed in vehicles from the model year 2002 through 2015.
Apparently, despite intense efforts to reach consumers to make them aware of the need to replace the explosive Takata airbags, about one-third of the vehicles that have been recalled haven’t been repaired.
How it Works
Toyota's new crowdsourcing approach will involve paying people for informing their family and friends about the airbag recalls.
People who sign up on the Carma Project website or through its smartphone app earn points when their connections look up their vehicle using a specific web portal. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards and if a car owner needs a new airbag, they can schedule an appointment to replace theirs via the website.
For more information on this crowdsourcing approach visit the Carma Project’s website.