Car defects reach a new audience with social media

January 30, 2013 12:00 AM

In the past, car trouble spelled doom for drivers. There was no internet to help decipher the problem, few choices of which auto repair franchise to go to, the inability to shop around for lower prices and almost no ways to alert the automaker of the issue. That has all changed with the introduction of social media, as car owners today have an endless list of resources and options at their fingertips. 

That accessibility has manifested itself in a new way for lodging complaints when auto problems strike. More drivers are starting to use platforms like Twitter or Facebook to make sure their voice is heard, as the fast communication allows for nearly instantaneous feedback and advice, AutoBlog reports. Car owners have no qualms about tweeting when a defect pops up or asking questions of a brand, and the interaction that stems from these situations can be beneficial to both the individual and the automaker. 

"Social media analytics provide low-cost, real-time insight into defect existence and severity, by vehicle component category," Alan Abrahams, a business professor, told Automotive News. "... Using social media analysis, one maker's car models can be benchmarked against other brands." 

Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is getting in on the act. The organization frequently scours the internet for common problems occurring across models in an effort to find information on vehicle maintenance that could lead to an investigation. 

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