The legislator has stipulated that manufacturers of vehicles and vehicle parts must inform KBA, if there are indications that their products pose a danger to vehicle occupants or other road users. KBA also receives information about defective products from consumers, authorities, insurance companies and the media. Information on confirmed hazards is exchanged electronically between the EU member states and thus made available to the competent authorities abroad and to consumers.
KBA initiates such investigations, if KBA identifies the defect in question as critical with regard to the existing environmental and safety risk. Most investigations are initiated on the basis of defect reports from vehicle manufacturers or its own investigation results. If a product actually has defects, KBA orders the manufacturer to recall the affected product series.
Product defects can lead to different hazards, whose risks need to be assessed. The recall measures therefore vary in the way they are implemented. If there is a serious risk, the recall is usually the most effective means of protecting vehicle owners, uninvolved road users and the public. To ensure that serious risks can be completely eliminated, vehicle manufacturers must use the owner addresses from the Central Vehicle Register (ZFZR) of KBA for such recalls.
Apart from the manufacturers, the owners are also responsible:
If their vehicle is subject to a recall, vehicle owners must have the defect repaired at a specialist workshop. KBA monitors the recall process. If it determines that vehicle owners did not participate in the recall despite being requested to do so, they will be asked again to have the defect repaired in follow-up campaigns.
If vehicle owners do not comply with the recall, even after repeated requests, KBA informs the locally responsible registration authority, which can issue an operating ban and withdraw the vehicles registration. The above chart shows the number of vehicle withdrawals from service initiated as a result of non-cooperation in recall campaigns.