Safety Dropping Down Auto Consideration List

With Chevrolet having ordered yet another rounds of recalls this month, one might expect that the news would have a strong and immediately adverse effect on consumer consideration of the brand. According to new data from YouGov, however, Americans who are worried about Chevrolet product safety are in the minority.

The firm's new Omnibus survey shows only 35% of Americans, incredibly, have even heard about Chevrolet safety issues over the past three months, and only 18% for Toyota, which recalled some 800,000 vehicles last month and 2 million in April.

The online survey conducted this month does say only 28% of Chevrolet owners and 23% of Toyota owners give their cars a 10 out of 10 for safety. Owners of other brands which fare better aren't all that thrilled, either. For Honda and Nissan, it's 35% and 36%, respectively. For Ford, it's 30%.

Safety, in general, has fallen down the list of consumers’ most important purchase factors, the YouGov survey indicates. That probably has to do with the fact that most brands have reached parity when it comes to safety technology such as airbags, warnings and crash ratings from the likes of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

Price now is the number one purchase consideration, according to the survey. The 1,196 adult respondents cited pocketbook factors including sticker price and fuel efficiency. Ninety-six percent of buyers and lessees surveyed said as much. Eighty-nine percent said safety is important, but only 59% said it's very important –  64% of women and 43% of men.   

After price and safety come luxury features (52%), brand loyalty (51%) and image (34%). The survey showed that more than half of millennials said image was important and about one-quarter said it was very important. 

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