VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS UNPREPARED FOR LOOMING TREAD ACT COMPLIANCE

(EL SEGUNDO/Nov. 20, 2002) According to the top line findings of a survey released today by West Coast-based automotive consultancy Syncata Corporation, only eight percent of vehicle and equipment manufacturers are currently ready to comply with federal reporting regulations imposed under the Transportation Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD).

TREAD requires vehicle and equipment makers to submit reports summarizing information about consumer complaints as well as warranty, legal claims and field reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The first reporting period begins April 1, 2003.

“Given the potential of TREAD to improve the safety of automobile travel by enhancing NHSTA’s early warning detection capabilities, and given the value beyond compliance for manufacturers -- like better parts defect and warranty fraud detection -- the industry is surprisingly unprepared to meet the deadlines,” said Marianne Grant, director of the Syncata business innovation center. “Organizations are now faced with a significant amount of work that must be done in a very short time frame to gather, categorize and summarize huge volumes of historical and ongoing data,” Grant added.

More than a third of those surveyed said they had still not even identified a practical way to collect and categorize the prior three years worth of historical data necessary to meet the deadline. Other findings reveal over 40 percent have still not identified a means of continuously filing their quarterly reports and retaining and protecting the data. The first quarterly reports are due August 31, 2003. Historical reports are due September 30, 2003.

The majority of the respondents said their organizations do intend to leverage their TREAD data to achieve benefits beyond compliance, which in addition to earlier warning of parts defects and warranty fraud prevention includes improved workflow automation and better dealer service market oversight.

The survey was conducted at a recent Syncata TREAD Forum on Oct. 30, 2002 in Long Beach, California, which was attended by over 50 representatives from vehicle and equipment manufacturers. Representatives included legal, warranty and information technology executives.


About Syncata Corporation 
Founded in 1990, Syncata helps automotive and industrial manufacturing companies improve operational performance and profitability. The firm designs processes and integrates systems that help solve specific problems within sales, finance, manufacturing, distribution and service operations. The firm has offices in Michigan (Southfield), California (El Segundo, Irvine and Oakland) and India (New Delhi).

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