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Lex Takes Proactive Stance On Safety Recalls

13 March 2007

The UK’s largest vehicle leasing company, Lex, is increasing its processes around manufacturers’ safety recalls to ensure it meets its Duty of Care responsibilities.

As a company it has agreed that manufacturer recalls are carefully distributed and rigorously followed up to encourage and ensure all the additional work is duly completed.

To drive home the importance of customer safety, the company is running a week long internal campaign during March. Staff in its three regional offices will receive individual flyers outlining the importance of safety recalls. In addition a dramatic poster, depicting MD Jon Walden in jail, will heighten awareness that if recalls don’t force customers to fix their vehicles the person at the top could carry the can.

Those involved with the Lex process agree that a central recall database run by The Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) would be useful, but sees it as no guarantee that a 100% success rate will be the outcome. The recently automated MOT process has demonstrated that inconsistencies in the information available will continue to leave gaps.

In September 2006 Lex appointed Maintenance Service Delivery Manager Gill Mack to review and update its recall process. The result has been that customers are now contacted three times by letter and by phone to ensure the details of the recall are taken seriously and acted upon.

“The manufacturers all have slightly different approaches regarding safety recalls, but we have found the majority support our safety recall process to ensure it is robust. I would like to think it is also setting an industry benchmark,“ said Mack.

Lex has set up its own database to capture and record all safety recall activity. A 48 hour turn round has been internally agreed by those involved with the process. The company receives around 700 recalls a month, but in February 2007 it received 3,038 which had to be distributed to the drivers of each vehicle.

From receipt at the central location in Lex, the main imperative is to ensure the recall reaches those who are responsible for making the changes. This can be particularly challenging when a vehicle has passed into the used market at the end of its Lex contract.

“We are now working with our end user and disposal sites to make sure a diligent process is in place” explained Mack, “we need to understand the exact extent of our responsibilities and would encourage other organisations in the same position to do the same.”