Automotive software developer AutoAp Inc. has released a recall notification service designed to allow fleet managers to more easily assess the daily recall status of their vehicles.
AutoAp’s Dynamic Recall Management service is a multi-source, VIN-specific, daily safety recall repair status database, says Ross Macdonald, chief marketing officer for AutoAp.
“Last year’s record 63.9 million vehicles, affected by NHTSA-issued safety recalls, have made it abundantly clear that auto manufacturing defects will remain a significant issue,” says Macdonald. “We created this recall management service to address the difficulty in obtaining accurate, timely and consistent safety recall information from the OEMs and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA].”
Addressing the Gap
Safety recall data is held by two groups: the vehicle manufacturers and NHTSA. Fleet managers attempting to assess the recall status of their fleet VINs with information available from the OEMs or NHTSA could get inaccurate and potentially false negative results, Macdonald says.
AutoAp’s ongoing analysis of recall data found on NHTSA’s safercar.gov website finds numerous errors, including safety recalls tied to erroneous years, wrong models, wrong manufacturers and multiple models affected but not identified — and, in some cases, missing altogether.
Out of 29,620 passenger vehicle safety recalls stemming from 4,922 unique NHTSA recall IDs, as many as 1,500 — about 30% — are found to be inaccurate, the company’s research found.
Ongoing, daily analysis of NHTSA’s safety recall data continues to yield significant numbers of attribution errors, including particularly worrisome false negative recall results where NHTSA does not show an open safety recall on a specific vehicle when, in fact, there is.
“Further, safety recall data accuracy can be adversely affected by multiple timing issues surrounding the release of recall data on OEMs’ consumer-facing sites, NHTSA’s consumer-facing site safercar.gov, OEMs’ dealer-facing communication platforms, and finally, between the OEMs and their fleet customers.”
“And waiting for an official OEM recall notice to arrive in the mail can leave a considerable gap between the recall notification from the manufacturer and when NHTSA first published the safety recall ID on its consumer-facing website,” Macdonald says.
How it Works
The Dynamic Recall Management service is designed to connect to a fleet’s VIN or stock number data feed. The service downloads, analyzes and corrects the current NHTSA safety recall database file on a daily basis. The errors in attribution are reviewed and corrected by the company’s safety recall data experts to achieve a 98% accuracy level, Macdonald says.
Using this corrected safety recall database, the proprietary process automates the recall status verification on nearly 80% of clients’ VINs to determine the repaired, open and open-but-waiting-for-remedy status. The remaining 20% that cannot be automatically verified are validated by a semi-automated process, to deliver 100% VIN coverage. A daily report is then created, listing VINs with known open, unrepaired safety recalls and emailed daily to clients.
In some cases, the Dynamic Recall Management service returns an early warning alert for a safety recall on a particular year, make, model and style, before the OEMs have identified or published the affected VIN-pool for that safety recall. This early warning alert allows fleet owners to anticipate potential open safety recalls on fleet VINs in advance of the official VIN-specific recall notification from the OEM.
“Designed to reduce the manual effort it takes to be proactive on safety recall assessment, Dynamic Recall Management shows clients at the earliest possible moment which vehicles have open, repairable safety recalls,” Macdonald says.