TSB's have been used for years , and was best simply described by Kelli Felker of Ford . " TSB's are used to help dealers diagnose and repair customers vehicles,not to address safety issues " . This after a Ford assessed penalty of 17.35 million for an Escape cruise control cable problem that was reported first as a recall in 2005 and then as a Tech. Service Bulletin . The problem here was the low response by customers to the recall . Ford settled with the government rather than a lengthy dispute . In another situation , GM went the other way in 2005 and 2006 with a TSB about how to remedy the problem of where certain models ignition switches could unexpectedly shut off , powering down the engines . The remedy involved advising dealers to tell drivers to remove unessential items from the key ring and installing an insert to prevent keys from jostling . How dealers handle TSBs raises a big unanswered question , WHEN DO THEY ADVISE OWNERS OF VEHICLES turning in their vehicle for service of any potential TSBs , or does the dealership just wait and see if the owner has a complaint about a certain problem that checks in with a known TSB for that application ?? Can you see how this handling at a local level can be a can of worms and potential legal matter ??
These TSBs are now haunting the industry and GM in particular . The National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. thinks these TSBs can be a way of avoiding recalls , BUT it is acknowledged that most TSBs cover non safety issues . My question here is that conceivably , often anything that affects the operation of a vehicle might be a recall , in the eyes of the NHTSA , no ?? The way recalls are flying throughout the industry shows me that manufacturers are not taking any chances with NHTSA interpretations .
Here is a simple solution that will take the the combined approval and enforcement of the Federal , State Government licensing bodies , indeed in any country where GM vehicles may be serviced . It will be mandatory that all licensed auto repair businesses must , prior to begin servicing a GM vehicle , fill out an approved service request form with the customer and verify the VIN number on said form , even any licensed business doing oil changes ! The service writer enters the owners name , address , model of vehicle and VIN number on his computer that is hooked into the internet . GM will quickly forward any unresolved TSBs or Recalls against that model/vehicle . When the work is done , the dealership will give the customer a copy and daily forward a copy of the work order by acceptable means to GM , email is probably quickest and inexpensive . If the only contact is through oil changes , GM will forward an urgent request to the City or town etc , dealership , where the owner of said VIN number resides , with unresolved TSBs or recalls .
If that said owner does not comply with urgent request , his warranty CAN/WILL EXPIRED AND BE SUBJECT TO ANY FEDERAL OR STATE penalties ! This , frankly , is long overdue . Antiquated computer systems , poor quality software and lack of high speed internet service is totally not acceptable for any licensed auto repair business , today !! . This can be a game changer in the proper timely response to TSBs and recalls of any manufacturers vehicles , also to include commercial and industrial applications . This will put to rest the uncertainties of TSBs being handled properly and recalls not being done or answered by owners , lessors/lessees . The terrible costs of legal remedies not only seriously affects dealerships and manufacturers in lost profits , insurance costs , but also undermines their reputations !! Ultimately this cost gets past on the consumer . This current situation is solvable......what do you think ??