WASHINGTON -- Notifying car owners their vehicle has been recalled and convincing them to go to a dealership for a free repair is a major challenge for automakers -- especially when the vehicle is on its second or third owner and there is no contact information.
On Friday, businesses and governmental entities that regularly deal with large numbers of used vehicles got a new tool that makes it much easier to identify cars and trucks with open recalls so the underlying safety defects can be fixed.
CarFax, the IHS Markit unit that provides vehicle history reports, has built an online portal in partnership with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, that will allow dealerships and other organizations to conduct free bulk searches of up to 10,000 vehicle identification numbers at one time, greatly simplifying what has been a cumbersome, manual process.
Authorized users can simply upload a spreadsheet of VINs. The system will spit out ones that have an open recall in a matter of seconds.
"The most significant thing for a dealer is that, instead of typing in these 17 character VINs over and over again, now you can feed a document. So, it saves a huge amount of work ... and we hope it will be an incentive" for organizations to follow through on repairs or inform car owners to do so, Alliance spokesman Wade Newton said in an interview.
The free service is being unveiled Friday at the NADA Show and will go live on April 15. Interested parties can immediately apply to participate.