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Getting good at recall work

January 2, 2015
Service managers and dealer principals welcome recalls because they bring more revenue and profit.
"They’re getting their regular warranty labor rate, which can range anywhere from $70 to $110 an hour," said Paul Vollrath, a parts and service consultant. "Technicians aren’t crazy about (recalls) because the flat-rate labor time is a little bit less. But if it’s a large recall like Toyota had with its heated seats, they can get real good at it, find shortcuts, and actually make time on them."
About half of the states have laws that specifically require manufacturers to pay dealers for recall work at the retail rate. 
"Any type of recall is great for business. Any time you have people coming in without having to advertise, it’s a good thing," said Greg Bart, parts and service director at McGrath Audi in Morton Grove. 
"For recalls on older cars, we know there will be a lot of people coming in that haven’t been here for a while," Bart said. "If we see an older vehicle with the potential for upsells, we try not to push it that day. People really appreciate not getting the hard sell. They might come back the next day anyway."
Although no manufacturer wants a dealer to mine for warranty work, "we look out for appropriate opportunities," Bart said.  
He expects customers will show understanding when they respond to the recent airbag recall on certain Audi models. Because the issue is software related, waiting for parts should be a non-issue.