A withdrawal of registration documents hangs in the face of hundreds of Vaudois

A withdrawal of registration documents hangs in the face of hundreds of Vaudois
A withdrawal of registration documents hangs in the face of hundreds of Vaudois

By opening a letter from the Automobile Service (SAN) last month, Massimo* had a double unpleasant surprise: first, the 37-year-old from Lausanne discovered that the Honda he had acquired second-hand in 2021 has a serious Manufacturing defect never resolved. Two: that he had one month to remedy it, otherwise he could say goodbye to his driving license.

This work is required by a safety recall from the Japanese manufacturer, around ten years old. An airbag inflator problem, which risks injuring the occupants, or even killing them. Except that the previous owner ignored this warning and failed to inform Massimo. “Fortunately, the intervention is free and I have a dealership close to home,” says the Lausanne resident. At the garage, the timing was tight: I was told that other people were in the same situation. It was a bit of a panic!”

Like him, more than 400 Vaudois were contacted this spring for similar reasons, confirms the SAN. “This number is becoming routine and could increase if the trend is to be believed,” laments its director Pascal Chatagny. Some people actually only react to letters from our service. This represents a significant workload, handled by specialized employees.” In total, around twenty brands are affected, including Audi, Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Mazda, Opel, VW and Renault.

The problem is identical in the other cantons. We do not know the total number of vehicles affected at the national level, but we can probably estimate it at several thousand. The fact remains that in European comparison, the Swiss motorist seems to be a good student. “More than 90% of cars subject to countermeasures are processed after sending two registered letters,” notes Dominik Erne, spokesperson for Honda Switzerland. This is the best success rate among neighboring countries.” According to him, this efficiency is due to “targeted communication campaigns” and close collaboration with the authorities.

It especially gets stuck on resale

The Auto Services are alerted by the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) when a vehicle is affected by a safety-related recall. But sometimes, the information seems to take time to get back to the holder, or even falls between two stools, as with Massimo. And as long as the cantonal authorities have not sent their famous ultimatum letter, the resale of an “untreated” vehicle remains possible. Then, on the other hand, the SAN will refuse a change of holder as long as the restoration work is not carried out.

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