Are Vehicles in Your Used Inventory Under Recall?
CENTREVILLE, Va. — Toyota's latest recall tends to stand out in recent memory; however, the automaker is far from alone. It is very common for automakers to issue recalls, just perhaps not on such a large scale as Toyota.
In light of this, and the fact that the National Auto Auction Association is no longer recommending that member auctions hold recalled vehicles from the lanes, it has likely never been more important for used-car managers to keep up-to-date on the most current recalls in the marketplace.
A used-car manager is generally expected to stock and maintain many different brands, which can mean staying on top of recalls is much more difficult than for a new-car dealer who specializes in a particular brand.
One avenue that can help dealers stay on top of recall news is Carfax.
According to Don Cook, used-car director at Hudson, Pontiac, Buick and GMC in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., "We run a Carfax Report on every car prior to acquisition at auction or on trade to identify issues like open recalls. Our salespeople tell customers right off the bat whether an open recall exists — it's a safety concern and something we take very seriously.
"Just the other day I had a customer come looking at a car and the first thing I pointed out to him on the Carfax was the open recall. He was so grateful and it really made him feel comfortable shopping with us. The car was an off-make, but with the customer's help we got the recall fixed and he came back the next day and bought it," he continued.
In fact, many automakers rely on companies such as Carfax to spread the news about a recall to consumers and dealers.
For instance, Robert Case, operations manager for recall and service programs for Ford, said, "Ford is committed to communicating safety recall information to vehicle owners in an open and transparent manner as part of our commitment to top quality. Ford was the first major automaker to establish a relationship with Carfax to provide open safety recall information as we recognized the Carfax Vehicle History Report as a valuable tool used by many consumers and business entities."
Over at Mitsubishi, the story is very similar.
"Mitsubishi Motors is relentless in our commitment to quality and safety. An element of ensuring safe vehicles is making certain that if a vehicle is recalled, the required inspection and service, if necessary, are performed. In this spirit, Mitsubishi has been a longtime partner with Carfax in providing auctions, dealers, current and prospective customers with free-of-charge information regarding any open recalls on our vehicles," explained Dan Irvin, general manager of corporate communications and public relations at Mitsubishi.
Chrysler, meanwhile, also says much the same thing.
"Chrysler Group LLC employs an internal and external communication network to quickly convey vehicle information to our customers. Carfax assists in that communication and represents a significant data source for our customers," the automaker said in a statement.
Ultimately, it is up to the used-car manager to put the customer at ease with a vehicle purchase. And apparently, highlighting the fact that a vehicle needs a fix due to a recall is one way to instill trust.
"Unrepaired open recalls are an important factor in vehicle evaluations. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all recalled vehicles aren't fixed by their owners. Carfax is working with leading manufacturers and consumer advocates to alert people (and dealers) to open recalls and make sure more of these are fixed," Larry Gamache, of Carfax, pointed out.
According to Carfax, it receives open recall information from the following nameplates: Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jeep, Kia, Lincoln, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Subaru, Suzuki and Volvo.