Handling Recalls

Select Year to View:

Release date: 5/18/2018

Handling Recalls

Michael G. Wilson, CAFM, Fleet Services Manager, University of Iowa

As a professional fleet manager, one of your responsibilities is ensuring that vehicle recalls are completed in a timely manner. It sounds simple, but you know managing recalls can be difficult and time-consuming. Here is some practical advice to assist you in managing recalls.

1. Are you being notified when one of your vehicles is affected by a recall? Use the fleet’s primary address when registering your vehicles. That way recall notices are more likely to be mailed directly to fleet staff.

2. Be more proactive. Each of the big three manufacturers has a process you can use to see if your vehicles have been recalled. Check with each manufacturer’s fleet customer service department to find out how to use their systems. There are also several vendors who will monitor your fleet by vehicle identification number (VIN) and notify you when a recall is issued for one of your vehicles. These vendors will have a system to submit your VINs all at once to see if any of your vehicles are subject to a recall.

3. Manage downtime when large segments of your fleet are affected by a recall. In larger metropolitan areas you may be able to use multiple dealers to complete your recalls. Or, depending on the recall, you may be able to have the dealer’s technician come to your site to eliminate shuttling vehicles to the dealership. Having the technician at your site will also lead to a larger number of recalls being completed in a shorter amount of time. Jump on recalls
early in the process; more parts are available early in the recall so you won’t have to wait for the dealer to restock.

4. Maintain good records. Nothing is more frustrating than sending a vehicle in for a recall and finding out that the
recall has already been completed. You may have had your vehicle in for a tire repair, and the dealer noticed the vehicle was subject to a recall, and subsequently made the repair. It is probably noted on the tire invoice as a
no-charge repair, but if you don’t record it, you could overlook that the repair was done.

Dealers are prohibited from selling new vehicles when there is an outstanding recall. But, did you know that there is legislation pending in Congress (Senate Bill 1634 and House Bill 3449) that may require recalls be completed before a used vehicle can be sold?

In the future, if you sell your vehicles at dealer auctions, you may be able to get a better price if your recalls are up-to-date.

Do you have a topic you’d like to see addressed by one of our experts? Submit to: