QCOSTARICA – “We hereby would like to give you some explanations, why it is economically necessary for DEKRA to invoice the re-tests of vehicles having failed the first inspection.”
Thus begins a letter dated October 7 by Peter Villari, Dekra’s Managing Director Vehicle Inspections North America, sent to the head of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), Luis Amador.
Among other considerations, Villari pointed out that we determine that the rate of re-test is in a range of 40% of all first inspections. We also estimate that of our these re-tested vehicles, 20% will be re-tested only for one defect, while 80% will be re-tested for more than one defect”.
In the letter sent to Amador Dekra seeks to justify the particular charge when it comes to the reinspection of a vehicle with two serious faults or “graves”.
He then added that reinspecting vehicles with more than one defect will generate “18% extra activity on top of the first inspections. But this also means 18% more operational expenses linked to this extra activity (…)” for the company.
For 2023, the first full year of activity, we estimated a total of US$17.3 million dollars operational expenses. This increase of 18% of those expenses generated by the 500,000 re-tests to be performed, represent US$3.1 million dollars, which is, per re-test, equivalent to roughly US$5 dollars. In our original financial proposal, we requested for re-test fees equivalent to 60% of the fees of first inspection, so US$6.60 dollars, to be compared to the US$6,22 dollars extra expenses generated byb those re-tests, which is a profit margin of about 6%.”
In other words, the company argued that, in order to maintain the desired profit margin, it required a particular charge for re-inspections when two or more defects were found during the inspection of a vehicle.
This charge was established in a decree published 48 hours before the company began operations in the country, on October 28, despite the fact that President Rodrigo Chaves and Amador himself said and reiterated for months that the company’s proposal was not charging for reinspection and they blamed the Regulatory Authority, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep).
Amador himself was asked directly if at any time the Dekra company asked for the re-inspection charge to be established, to which he replied “Dekra said: when there are two or more serious offenses, I need to be paid.”
The Minister justified the need to carry out the total inspection again in that vehicles that present two “serious faults” may be prone to having more problems during the month that they are given to correct them, while expressing concern, since there are no statistics on the incidence of defects as a cause of accidents.
“Do you know what two serious faults are? Your brakes don’t work and you have slick tires. They are called serious and they are dangerous, high risk,” he pointed out.
“This is one of those difficult decisions that one does not want to make, but it is better to make it than to let there be no re-inspection and all the traffic accidents that can occur due to the same effect,” he said.
Then they insisted on asking if Dekra was emphatic in its need to charge the re-inspection when it comes to two faults or more, to which he replied “yes, and remember that Aresep when it calculated the fee, it calculated it based on nothing, they could use Dekra’s offer.”
All this means that, despite the fact that the Government’s position was always that the re-inspection would at not cost, at least since October 7 the company’s intention to charge re-inspection was known in the case of two serious offenses such as a complete inspection.