BoatU.S. establishes National Recall Alert Registry

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Boat Owners Association of the United States is aiming to bridge the gap between boat builders and owners with its online National Recall Alert Registry, the organization said in a press release Wednesday.

While federal law requires boat builders to recall safety defective boats and make repairs for a period of ten years, manufacturers are only obligated to send recall notices to original owners. However, vessels can change ownership during their first ten years of life, leaving manufacturers no way to reach subsequent owners to let them know they have a fix available to remedy a safety problem. BoatU.S. plans to bring these two groups together with its recall registry.

“The existing system is deficient because there is no consistent way for manufacturers to reach second or third owners,” said Caroline Ajootian, BoatU.S. consumer protection bureau director. “However, by being proactive and using our free registry, boat owners will be kept in the loop.”

The system allows boaters to register their less than ten-year-old vessel so a manufacturer may contact them directly in the event of a recall action. Boats, engines and trailers of any age can be registered, as some companies also conduct voluntary recalls on older products. In addition, boaters can view a list of current recalls and visit the U.S. Coast Guard’s Recall Database.

The online system is also a plus for manufacturers.

“It can help a difficult situation get better because it demonstrates that the manufacturer is being proactive and helps reinforce the positive image of a company and its product,” Ajootian said.

The system is secure. Each manufacturer can only view the database of owners having their product.

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