Software that will make it more difficult to mistakenly sell a new General Motors vehicle that is being recalled will roll out this month. These software tools will be phased in during the third quarter. Tim Turvey, GM global vice president of customer care and aftersales, said that the company looks at safety as “a core value, a core priority.”
The first step is an “incentive lookup block.” GM said that with this software, dealerships will have to first perform the recall work as needed.
Dealerships won’t be able to look up the incentives that apply to a specific vehicle if it is part of a recall and no record of work is seen. It can be recalled that in the U.S. last year, GM issued its biggest-ever recall of 27 million vehicles in the wake of its ignition-switch safety predicament.
So far, the compensation for 84 victims of deadly crashes related to the switch has been approved by GM's claims administrator. Experts said that dealerships are able to look up vehicle identification numbers to see if a vehicle is subject to a recall.
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website allows them to do this one vehicle at a time. A huge dealership will have a difficult time of determining which of the vehicles on its lot are involved in the recall.
Turvey said that linking the recall information to incentives makes it very unlikely for the dealerships to make a mistake. Turvey said that inquiries on incentives could reach up to 50,000 a day. At the World Traffic Safety Symposium in New York last Friday, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind was asked to comment on GM’s move.
He replied that GM isn’t legally required to make the changes and so, he is acknowledging GM’s innovation. Rosekind said that GM is responding to a case wherein a dealership in Pennsylvania was penalized for selling units without doing the warranty work first. Actually, the case referred to Chapman Chevrolet in Philadelphia.
NHTSA records show that a $50,000 civil penalty was to be paid by the dealership for having sold 23 new vehicles without required warranty work. This case reached a settlement on October 1.
Rosekind cited a “carrot” and “stick” aspect in what GM is doing. The carrot is GM’s move to find a way to emphasize to dealerships how much revenue they will gain as compensation from GM for doing recall work. He pointed out that the stick is the inability of the dealership to apply incentives until the recall work is accomplished.