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From the 20 Group: 5 Best Practices to Survive the Viral Recall Epidemic

Lycia Jedlicki
Written By: Lycia Jedlicki
Posted on June 14, 2016

It doesn’t matter what franchise you have; recalls are having a major impact on our day-to-day operations.  In every 20 Group meeting I’ve had this year, recalls have been a hot topic, and each dealer is coping with them differently.

Common recall worries

Although responses vary, without a doubt our 20 Group members share similar concerns about recalls. I often field such questions as:

  1. How do we go about our day-to-day operations with the least amount of turbulence?
  2. How can I ensure that we are complying with the factory and government standards?
  3. Do we have the correct technicians performing the recall?
  4. How do we make sure that recalls are not negatively impacting our “Customer Pay” work in our service departments?
  5. Where should we store and dispose the impacted parts?
  6. Where and how are we supposed to store these vehicles?
  7. Do we put recall customers in a rental/loaner vehicle?

Treating the recall virus

Over the last few months, 20 Group members and I have been working together to develop best practice to address this growing scourge. Here’s what we’ve adopted:

  1. Check for open recalls when appraising and delivering a sold vehicle using the safercar.gov website; require the customer to sign, too. Many of our dealers also check their inventories multiple times a week for open recalls
  2. Schedule or perform recalls at non-peak times such as afternoons, if possible.
  3. Check with other dealers/companies/rental agencies for increased business.
  4. Perform multi-point inspections looking for additional services to recommend now or in the near future.
  5. Discover your opportunity. One of the big questions is can I sell a vehicle with an open recall?  This opinion varies among many dealers, legal councils and manufactures, whichever policy your dealership adopts, please make sure everyone is aware how to handle these vehicles.

Recovering from recalls

Recalls aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, so the best thing you can do is develop a better attitude towards them.

My 20 Groups like to focus on the positive side: all the incremental business recalls bring to our Service Departments. Seize the opportunity—it’s up us to retain these new clients and turn them into “Customers for Life”.

What practices has your dealership implemented to deal with the viral spread of recalls? Tell us here!

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