FREDERICK, MD - The National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) wants to reassure the remarketing community, as well as the general public, that the recent case of a non-member auction accused of illegal activity is regrettable and should not be viewed as reflective of the immense integrity demonstrated by our member auctions every day in the wholesale auto auction industry.
Both the owner and general manager of the Gettysburg Auto Exchange face federal charges for allegedly defrauding charities that sold vehicles through their business. According to a probe conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the two falsified records to show donated cars were sold at auction for significantly less than the actual purchase price.
"Even though this Pennsylvania-based business does not b elong to the NAAA, we of course were deeply disturbed to learn of these unfortunate allegations which, if proven, demand serious punishment in the interest of our entire industry and the customers we serve," said Frank Hackett, the trade association's chief executive officer. Founded in 1948, NAAA represents more than 300 auction members and 100 associate members who comprise the leading remarketers of used vehicles and related auction services in the world.
"NAAA membership requires strict adherence to a clearly defined, comprehensive Code of Ethics, which specifically includes a commitment to the exposure and cessation of any scheme designed to deceive or defraud," Hackett stated.
He noted that a rigorous disciplinary procedure for punishing any detrimental conduct by members, officers and directors provides the association with the ability to police and protect the integrity of its code and standards.
"Membership in NAAA is a valuable hallmark to possess in our industry and it's up to us to safeguard the respectable reputation and principles it represents," Hackett said. "As a NAAA member, auctions know they're entrusted to conduct business in a fair, equitable and consistent manner, and are happy to comply with our policies to maintain that seal of approval."
The NAAA has an ongoing initiative to establish universal principles and practices for the 73-year-old auto auction industry. Recent efforts include creating uniform Electronic Condition Reports, an Arbitration Policy, National Certification and Auction Block Announcement standards, as well as increased education, training and leadership development programs.
Hackett added, "Our goals with standardization and professional development are to ensure conformity with the NAAA Code of Ethics and to enhance customer service through greater understanding, trust and confidence among auctions, buyers and sellers, that ultimately benefits everyone."
The association's ethics code, disciplinary process, policies and standards are publicly posted online at its web site, NAAA.com.