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NADA chairman advocates total loss disclosure, education on dealer financing

November 18, 2010

Vehicle title fraud prevention is a top priority this year of the National Automobile Dealers Association, said William Bradshaw, installed last month as the association’s 2006 chairman.

 

News reports in the wake of last year’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita indicated tens of thousands of flood vehicles were re-entering the market in the absence of "total-loss insurance data." 

"I think we’re finally going to get some momentum on this," Bradshaw said March 17 to a convention of Illinois and Missouri dealers. "We (dealers) want transparency. We want full disclosure. For insurance companies, that’s not in their economic interest, but I wouldn’t want to be on that side of the table."

 

Bradshaw distinguished the recent Carfax attempt in Illinois to secure accident report data, even for fender-benders, from what he seeks. "We’re talking total loss disclosure," he said. 

"Dealers," said Bradshaw, "sold more than 5 million used vehicles in 2005. How many of them taken in or traded were unknowingly flood damaged?"

 

"We’re the only English-speaking country without a database for insurance companies to report total losses. They have it in the United Kingdom, they have it in Australia," the NADA chairman said. 

Bradshaw appealed for dealers and consumers to contact him at wbradshaw@nada.org with personal anecdotes about being burned by totaled cars. He said the NADA would use the information in testimony before Congress.

 

Among other topics, Bradshaw noted that dealer financing continues to come under attack, including from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The best policy to overcome such attacks, he said, is education of the process for employees and consumers. 

An NADA video, "F&I: Absolute Integrity, 100 Percent of the Time," is part of a training package that includes a 30-page study guide to help dealers assist consumers in the F&I process while purchasing a car. The video stresses the importance of building consumer trust in every transaction through the use of strong listening skills, the practice of high business standards and strict compliance with the law.

 

The NADA also is distributing a step-by-step consumer guide on the auto financing process called "Understanding Vehicle Financing," produced in English and Spanish by NADA and the American Financial Services Association in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, and available in many dealerships and online. 

"We have every F&I employee sign a statement that they watched the (NADA) video," said Bradshaw. "We also get them certified with programs like AFIP (Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals).

 

For consumers, the NADA has placed a 10-page feature in Time magazine the past three years, highlighting the good deeds of dealers and offering additional sources for finance education, like the Web site, www.autofinancing101.org/

 Bradshaw trumpeted the need for dealers to get involved, by completing the NADA Dealer Attitude Survey—"Manufacturers do listen to the results"—by contributing the Dealer Election Action Committee, and by helping to raise an awareness among teachers, parents and students that dealerships are an attractive place to work.

 

Bradshaw also indicated that the NADA this year would push for a permanent repeal of the federal estate tax.

 

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