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Volume of recalls offers job opportunities for dealership technicians

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Nissan Motor Corp. has announced that it recalled an additional 226,326 older model vehicles equipped with airbags manufactured by Takata Corp. that could potentially rupture in the event of an accident and send schrapnel flying into passengers. At least 9 car makers have been forced to recall more than 12 million vehicles around the world during the past 5-years due to defective airbags according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

Nissan had informed the NHTSA that it was recalling 438,302 vehicles from model years 2001-2003, including Sentra, Pathfinder, Maxima, FX, I35 and QX4 from model years back in April 2013.
These, as well as the enormous amount of other recalls issued this year has created a logjam of services at dealership repair shops, and has made it increasingly difficult for AutoNation Inc. (which operates the service shops of the nation’s biggest dealership group) to “take advantage of coveted customer-pay service work,” stated the company’s CEO Mike Jackson during a recent news conference, while, at the same time providing some good news for mechanics seeking work. Work related to recalls has reportedly accounted for “3 % of AutoNation's parts-and-service income, and 4% of its gross profit during the 2nd quarter.”

"If we had more technical capability, we would be growing faster right now," Jackson said in a conference call after the retailer reported second quarter earnings. "We are at this point substituting recall work for normal customer-care work because we don't have enough technicians."

While Jackson and AutoNation Chief Operating Office Mike Maroone had announced plans to hire 400 service technicians at the beginning of the year, they now feel that more will be needed, although they declined to say just how many, although a company spokesman did hint that they plan to complete their recruitment by the 1st quarter of 2015.

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