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The Challenges of Auto Recalls

Table of Contents

Finding Vehicle Owners

A number of factors present challenges when it comes to completing a repair on a recalled vehicle part. One of the greatest ones lies with the seemingly basic step of locating the vehicle. Why is this so difficult? 

  • Address data decays at a rate of 2% a month, which means almost 25% of address data is invalid after a year’s time, according to one industry expert. This is due to a number of factors, including unreported moves and address changes, family status transitions, and vehicle sales or trades.
  • Vehicles are lasting longer: the average age of all cars on the road is over 11 years, up from eight years in 1995.This is positive, however, it also means that many vehicles are sold or traded more than once in their lifetime, which makes locating them more complicated. And, while vehicle owners may not change over a long period, the vehicle operator – and location – may shift as families or other circles share vehicles.
  • Laws around sending cars to scrap vary by state, so it can be difficult to know if or when a car is off the road. 

The common thread – and solution – to all of these challenges is data, according to Neil Steinkamp of STOUT. Manufacturers have no shortage of data sources available to identify addresses for vehicle owners they need to contact due to a recall: Department of Motor Vehicle and insurance information, dealer histories, service and toll records, and license plate recognition (LPR) data. While data points on their own are helpful, what can move the needle on effectiveness of recalls is developing a data process that incorporates various data elements over time.

Neil Steinkamp: “What’s the best data source to use? All of them. Data integration and a process that overlaps with (consumer) outreach to form a broad data strategy can make recall efforts much more effective in terms of both completions and cost.”

Another industry expert added that the speed of bringing constantly refreshed data together and taking a strong discipline around managing data is critical to successful recalls. 

This data accuracy, speed and collaborative approach are what DRN brings to the table. DRN collects the LPR data in real-time and overlays it with its historical database of over 18 billion license plate scans. We can then analyze it against other data points to pinpoint the most accurate location for making contact with a vehicle owner. Integrating multiple data sources is the key to determining the best path to locate the vehicle and be in contact with the owner.

For example: if data points like public records, repair and service records and toll data provide seven possible addresses for a vehicle owner, LPR and DRN’s analytics platform can narrow it to one. “This is the magic of LPR,” according to Oscar Nunez of DRN. 

To learn more about the magic of LPR, tune in next week or download the full white paper here.