FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — AutoNation announced a new policy today to not sell, lease or wholesale any new or used vehicle that has an open safety recall. The new policy will apply to every one of AutoNation’s 293 vehicle franchises in the United States.
“There's no way to expect that customers would or should know of every safety recall on every vehicle they might purchase, so we will ensure that our vehicles have all recalls completed," said Mike Jackson, chairman, CEO and president of AutoNation. "We make it our responsibility as a retailer to identify those vehicles and remove them from the market until their safety issues have been addressed."
A blanket commitment not to sell vehicles subject to a safety recall is not without cost, as adequate parts are not always immediately available, and AutoNation must hold the vehicles in inventory until they are repaired. Company officials said that AutoNation customers' protection is worth the investment in the process.
For this reason, the program addresses AutoNation's entire inventory, going well beyond the vehicles on the sales floor. For example, AutoNation will not wholesale any vehicle that has an open safety recall. The company has taken an explicit position that it will not have any role whatsoever in these vehicles being on the road, and it will not use convenient methods such as wholesaling to rid itself of problematic inventory.
But AutoNation accepts vehicles as trade-ins even if they have open safety recalls — and it values them according to standard guidelines, even with the understanding that there may be additional time and investment in the processing of these vehicles as part of the reconditioning process.
Under the new policy, all vehicles with open safety recalls are identified, physically pulled from inventory and "Not For Sale" hang tags and key tags will be placed on them. There are defined internal procedures for the processing and disposition of these vehicles that each associate will be expected to follow.