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GM software helps prevent dealers from selling unfixed cars

Dealers will not be able to look up incentives for a specific VIN if it still requires a recall fix.

General Motors has begun distributing software that aims to prevent dealers from intentionally or accidentally selling recalled cars that have not been fixed.

The fix-verification tool is integrated directly within the incentive-lookup system, used by dealers to determine what discounts, bonuses or other potentially deal-making offers are available for a particular vehicle.

If the VIN is found to have been subject to a recall but not yet fixed, dealers are alerted and blocked from viewing available incentives.

Federal laws already prohibit dealers from selling new cars that have been recalled but not yet fixed. Not all dealers comply with such regulations, however, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year levied fines against two auto dealers -- including a GM dealer in Pennsylvania -- for selling unfixed vehicles.

"All other manufacturers and dealers should embrace the proactive approach that GM is taking.," NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said in a recent speech at the World Traffic Safety Symposium, as quoted by The Detroit News. "There is no legal requirement, today, for GM to make these changes, just as there is no legal requirement to check for recalls when a car comes in for service, or to remedy used or rental vehicles under recall."

GM's global VP of customer care, Tim Turvey, told Automotive News the software system brings approximately 50,000 inquiries each day. The changes will be rolled out gradually through the third quarter of the year.

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