Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 26

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

 Reliable source? Vendors say government recall data are flawed

W

hen dealerships remarket used
cars and trucks from automakers whose new models they
don't sell, they need a credible
source to determine whether those used vehicles have been recalled.
Many dealerships consult safercar.gov, the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's consumer-oriented website that lists recalls filed with the agency.
Although NHTSA's data are expansive, executives from two providers of recall information - AutoAp and Recall Masters - say there
are risks in relying too heavily on the government site.
An AutoAp study concludes that NHTSA's
data have "significant" error rates, particularly
in listing model names and years. The agency
did not respond to a request for comment on
that allegation.
NHTSA's records often lag behind automakers' issuance of recall notices to dealers, the
study says. AutoAp CEO Mark Paul cites a BMW
recall notice published by NHTSA in July.

RECALLS
continued from Page 24

adds, giving dealers the impression they may
not need to take action.
Paul says AutoAp gets recall data from multiple sources; he would not disclose how many. Machine-learning tools resolve simple data conflicts about such things as spelling and
model years. Research teams address morecomplicated discrepancies.
"We resolve 90 percent of those conflicts,
typically, within an hour," Paul says. "If we
have to call an OEM, then it's usually 24 hours."
Recall Masters, of Aliso Viejo, Calif., offers
customers similar daily alerts and inventory
management tools related to recalls. The vendor charges a one-time $1,795 setup fee and a
monthly $750 fee for monitoring, reports and
support services.
About 90 dealerships use the monitoring
software. Recall Masters' software also aims to
identify owners of vehicles with open recalls
in a dealership's market, to generate service
lane sales leads and possible trade-ins.

Need for speed
AutoAp has formed a partnership with Rapid Recon, of Palo Alto, Calif., which works with
dealerships to improve their reconditioning
PAGE 26

AUGUST 2017

A recall of some 2013 and 2014 BMW 5 series
cars took more than two years to execute.
The notice identifies taillight reflectors that
don't conform to federal standards on certain
2013 and 2014 5-series cars. Although the
BMW notice is dated March 31, 2015, the
NHTSA site states that the recall was to begin
on July 24, 2017. It actually started July 27.
NHTSA began reviewing the issue in 2015,
but took more than two years to complete that
process. BMW began notifying its dealers of
the voluntary recall on May 31 - more than a
workflow. The companies jointly offer Integrated Recall Management, an automated recall alert system.
The program costs about $1 per vehicle
identification number, with a minimum
monthly charge of $150, on top of Rapid Recon's $499 standard monthly cost. About 160
dealerships use the service.
Among the product's customers is Ricart
Automotive, a family-owned group that operates seven new-vehicle dealerships and a
used-car outlet in Columbus, Ohio.
Jared Ricart, the group's director of fixed operations, says the software has saved service
employees "a lot of time."
"Before, we were getting notifications from
Carfax and a lot of times, the cars were already
on our lot," Ricart says.
Pulling an otherwise retail-ready used car or
truck for recall work means repeating reconditioning steps, he says. The group views 21
days in inventory as the cutoff for profit on the
sale of a used car, Ricart adds.

Just-in-time parts
Schomp Automotive Group, which operates
four dealerships in Colorado and Utah, uses
software from Rapid Recon and Recall Masters in concert. Michael Dunlap, Schomp's director of business development, says using

month before NHTSA offered the public notice.
Finding that out would have involved reading all related documents in NHTSA's published record - a time-consuming task. For a
non-BMW dealer without access to the automaker's internal notifications, this might be
confusing, or worse.
Retailing a used car covered by this recall
could pose a liability for a non-BMW dealership if the car were sold without the necessary
fixes after BMW issued its notice but before
NHTSA published its notice.
NHTSA spokesman Derrell Lyles says the
time between when an automaker notifies the
agency about a safety issue and NHTSA publishes a recall notice "may depend on how
long the reviewing process takes."
Lyles says the gap between a manufacturer's
notification to dealers and NHTSA's publication of a recall is caused in part by the time required to enter identification numbers of affected vehicles into the agency's database.
- Alex Kwanten
both systems enables the group's dealerships
to plan for recall repairs.
Alerts from Recall Masters begin as soon as
a dealership books a used car or truck into inventory, and often before it arrives on the lot,
Dunlap says.
Rapid Recon is then used to notify the dealership's parts department of the parts needed
for repair work, enabling just-in-time ordering, Dunlap adds.
"In a lot of cases, the parts are sitting here
waiting before the car ever gets here," he says.
"It's sped things up quite a bit."
The systems also enable Schomp to advertise used vehicles for sale as soon as they reach
the dealership, before they are reconditioned.
"We take a couple of quick photos and get
that vehicle online, even if it's not through the
reconditioning process," Dunlap says. "If
somebody contacts us on that car, sales [employees] can log into Rapid Recon and see
where the car is in the process."
But even with the fastest notification, some
recall work must be delayed because parts are
unavailable. Takata's massive airbag inflator
recall is a prime example, says Wolfe of Honda
of Fife.
"I have a VW with a Takata airbag that's
[been in stock for] 480 days," he says. "There's
no fix in sight." 


http://www.safercar.gov

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017
Contents
Need a lift
Tire track
Mobility devices
Times to recall
Slick trick
Fatal fire
Players club
Online parts
Lean inventory
Loyalty test
Patent pending
Open minded
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Richard Truett
Feedback
Five Minutes With
Letters
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Need a lift
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Tire track
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Mobility devices
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Times to recall
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Slick trick
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fatal fire
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Players club
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Online parts
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Lean inventory
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 37
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Loyalty test
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Patent pending
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Open minded
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover4
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