This has been a bad year for recalls. The US auto industry broke the record for repair campaigns months ago, and with about 25.8 million vehicles needing fixed, General Motors has gotten close to 2013's total full-year figure of 27.96-million recalled cars all on its own. You might think that used car buyers would run screaming for the hills from all these faulty models, but a recent study finds the exact opposite to be true. In fact, one of The General's vehicles actually gained value slightly, despite all of the negative publicity.

The report from Black Book Lender Solutions examined residual values for several vehicles from major recalls. They included the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt that was among the most prominent affected models earlier this year. The study found that the campaigns had almost no effect on a vehicle's depreciated cost, even those with major press coverage, according to Automotive News. Amazingly, in the case of the Cobalt, the price of 2005 and 2006 examples actually increased by about one percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year, according to the investigation.

The results weren't limited to just GM, either. The 2008-2009 Toyota Camry from the unintended acceleration recall had a lower depreciation rate amid the campaign in February 2010 than its competitors of the same year, according to Automotive News.

These outcomes echo similar data from other sources. In terms of new cars, Autoblog's By the Numbers info shows GM sales have grown on five of the seven months with data in 2014. The month with the biggest loss was January, before the ignition switch recall was even announced. In June, another investigation found that the company's used car prices were still staying strong, and one company showed the recalled 2012 Chevy Impala also appreciating slightly. It certainly appears that the campaigns don't weigh on many consumers' minds when buying a vehicle.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      scott3
      • 4 Months Ago

      The prices will drop just because most of these cars are 12-7 years old. Nothing more nothing less.

      Now if we were looking at cars that were less than 5 years old then this would be a legitimate argument.

      Just how much do you think a 10 year old Cobalt is really worth even in prime condition in the first place?  A low mileage HHR can still net you $8K.

      As for the Ion who wanted them new let alone used?

      If you want to argue this point you need some real evidence but it is hard to really call much here based on age and what the value was to start with. How much are you going to really lose on car like this we are not talking $50K cars losing $25K here. Do we really need to worry if a $4K car loses $500 at best?

      CJ_313
      • 4 Months Ago

      Cobalt's had very little value to begin with, unless you're speaking of the Turbocharged/Supercharged "SS" trim levels. None of this is especially surprising.

      ronjon1183
      • 4 Months Ago

      We had a 2005 Cobalt (w/ only 15k miles and in pristine condition) for sale during the news of the recall and really had a difficult time selling it... ended up letting it go for about half book value after many weeks. Every single person I talked to on it was concerned about the issues. One of them only called to try and convice me that it wasn't legal to sell it because of the recall, lol. Just seeing what folks are asking is only half the story with stuff like this.

        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ronjon1183

        Yeah, sure .... rolls eyes at such a ludicrous and pathetic attempt to continue with what has been proven over and over again is JUST NOT THE TRUTH!!

      Jarda
      • 4 Months Ago
      maybe it is simply too soon to judge
      Basil Exposition
      • 4 Months Ago

      Recalled cars are fixed for free. Why would a recall affect the sales price of a used vehicle?

        JF1GE
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Free except for the time without your car.  And for people like me, who works the graveyard shift, getting the car to the dealer in the first place is bothersome.  Not to mention the shaken faith in future recall issues.  They don't compensate you for that.
      al4gg10
      • 4 Months Ago

      The list of recalled GM vehicles grows as its almost 2 recall notices a week. The list of Non - Recalled GM vehicles is very small. I hope GM can learn from this instead of trying to bury defective parts under the carpet.

      Daniel
      • 4 Months Ago

      still I will keep an eye on wipzz, to check if the prices for used cars will remain the same, but in my opinion the price will drop only if the people will be aware of this issue, not everybody read the news.

      mdcwave
      • 4 Months Ago

      All these recalls have absolutely no meaning to the American car buying public. I'll bet not even 50% know the brand of car they're currently driving, only the color and what it costs them each month to operate.

      scott3
      • 4 Months Ago

      This whole recall has been a game for many who want to try to manipulate the market and GM.

      While there some truth in the recalls and damaged GM culture there is also many lies that have spread during this time. Also there has been a lot of manipulation of the facts to play things out to where the media and those who are behind some media outlets want the stories to play out.

      Things like the lack of full disclosure of the accidents and that not just a disabled ignition was in play or the fact that there were recent reports  by some trying to tell us the prices went down when on the contrary the prices in most areas were truthfully unaffected.

      I applaud the outlets that have spoken and published the truths in all the recalls GM, Toyota and others. Car and Driver did the best on the GM recall where they actually took a Saturn disabled he ignition since it was functioning properly to show how the cars can be steered and stopped even with the car in the off position.

      It is sad that more media did not do some investigation and honesty in what they published.

      It is no wonder we get so many distorted truths. While the Media points their crooked finger at the faults of industry their thumb is pointed back at them as they are as bad or worse in integrity.


      George Strickland
      • 4 Months Ago

      the problems with the recalled cars was in a very few of the millions sold,and in the recalled cars they are replacing used parts with new and for free,the time to complain is when cars have problems and they are not recalled so the customer pays for repairs.

      BillFrac the Car Guy
      • 4 Months Ago

      I have been in the car business over 40 years, and I must say I am surprised by the resilience of the Cobalt and GM in general during this recall crisis so far. My educated opinion is that while a horrific and terrible tragedy for every family involved, the numbers of actual accidents out of the 27 million recalled vehicles is truly miniscule despite the individual losses and heartbreak. 

      I also agree with an above poster that the media takes every tragedy and blows them up for ratings and paper sales etc. Turn on GMA or Today at 7 am, and you will see enough "MASSIVE FLOODING" and "DEVASTATING WILDFIRES" screaming at you that you are afraid to go out the door until you realize they are thousands of miles away and apart, and it is business as usual for 99% of America.

      At our dealership about 3 months into the recall,when we had parts on hand, only 50% of the owners had even contacted us despite the media firestorm, the TV, paper and internet coverage. For whatever reason, we reflected the national trend of owners not acting on the information.


      John D
      • 4 Months Ago

      It's totally depends on the condition of the used car. If there is a chance to repair those to set up a recondition car then I think the price will grow some more..

      Car Glass Repair and Replacement Azusa

    • Load More Comments