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The RACER Difference

What we do

RACER (Retail Automotive Compliance & Ethics Resource) is not an outside auditor. For a flat monthly fee, it trains management on how to implement and manage compliance policies and procedures in the areas of human resources, F&I, OSHA, sales and BAR.

Specifically, RACER recalibrates a dealer’s understanding of an effective compliance program and helps create an ethical culture that reduces problems and protects the business – which in turn, increases morale, increases customer satisfaction, and reduces lawsuits, turnover and customer complaints.

  • RACER is proactive. Compliance is an ongoing process, and RACER is designed to adapt and refocus as your needs change. We identify potential problems before they become legal issues.

  • RACER is focused on California law. We designed RACER specifically for the needs of dealers competing in California’s difficult regulatory environment.

  • RACER actively manages compliance. We actively manage HR, F&I, Sales, Advertising, BAR and OSHA/Safety compliance, implementing the advice of your vendors, lawyers and dealer associations.

  • RACER provides accountability. By identifying areas of risk, training a compliance team, implementing procedures, recommending improvements and ensuring follow-through, we ensure that compliance and accountability become an integrated part of your dealership’s culture.

  • RACER is flexible. We can work with your current compliance vendors, or recommend new ones to get the most for your dealership.

A Racer Compliance Driver works with each dealership to create a compliance team and will either become its Chief Compliance Officer, or help appoint one within the dealership. Once a dealership is set up on the RACER program, the Compliance Driver will periodically visit the dealership and facilitate compliance training, education and communications. RACER provides guidance on reporting and investigations, makes recommendations for discipline and incentives, and helps dealerships with monitoring and auditing outside services.

Although the need for such a service is nothing new, RACER is the first to provide a one-stop shop to create, monitor and enforce policies and procedures and retool the dealership culture.

call (562) 467-5252

Why a Compliance and Ethics Program?

Compliant and ethical practices make sense for the dealership’s bottom line. A 2016 survey by an auditing firm reported that dealer compliance and ethics programs save an estimated $792,000/year in lost profit. How?

Savings from an effectively implemented compliance and ethics program can include:

  1. Fewer insurance claims resulting in lower insurance premiums;
  2. Fewer lawsuits saving money spent on litigation expenses and settlements;
  3. Increased employee morale, resulting in reduced turnover and fewer lawsuits;
  4. Increased customer trust and higher CSI scores;
  5. Increased public/community sentiment, resulting in higher sales; and
  6. Increased marketability, making the dealership a more desirable target for acquisition.

A 2012 study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research for the National Automobile Dealers Association reports, U.S. auto dealers spend on average $182,754 each year to comply with federal mandates. For dealers in highly-regulated states like California, these numbers are likely much higher, but dealers often do not receive the full value of compliance spending.

RACER is unique and the first of its kind in the auto industry because it works with dealership staff and existing vendors to implement a Compliance and Ethics Program that ensures procedures are in place to improve risk awareness and help mitigate losses and claims. RACER is designed to help improve dealership CSI scores, increase employee morale and enhance overall public confidence in the dealership.

Further, an effective Compliance and Ethics Program can minimize dealership risk when mistakes do happen. RACER’s services are modeled after the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which provide for lighter penalty recommendations/sentencing when there is an effective Program in place. However, RACER does not offer a complete cure for dealership headaches - an effective program requires commitment from the top-down and participation from the highest level.

call (562) 467-5252

Our mission

To provide retail automotive dealerships with the tools and support to develop, grow and maintain a culture of corporate compliance and ethics.

RACER is a retail automotive compliance and ethics resource created in 2017 in partnership with the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association and strategic alliances with key players in the industry, such as The Scali Law Firm. RACER’s leadership responded to the common dealer concern that despite significant resources spent on legal compliance, there are not enough resources, time and accountability to ensure follow-through and consistency. RACER fills a void and offers the solution needed by many dealerships to stop the same mistakes from occurring over and over again: a dedicated Compliance Officer to bring dealership compliance efforts together. By working with dealership staff and existing compliance vendors, RACER helps dealerships develop an ethical corporate culture that fosters best practices, implement a Compliance and Ethics program, and monitor compliance, all with the goal of mitigating legal risks and informing dealership top management of process breakdowns.

Read the press release.

call (562) 467-5252


Christian Scali

Christian Scali is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Scali Law Firm. He has a diverse automotive legal practice that includes advertising, consumer finance, consumer product safety, data security, employment advice and counsel and litigation, employee mobility, franchise, privacy and trade secret protection litigation. In addition to regularly advising clients in the automotive industry on these issues, he litigates regulatory and civil matters.

Mr. Scali is known throughout the state of California for his work on behalf of the retail automotive industry in a series of advertising lawsuits brought against it under California’s Unfair Competition Law resulting, among other things, in the disbarment of consumer advocates, Trevor Law Group, and for his work on the Defense Steering Committee in the massive automobile consumer leasing lawsuit against the entire California retail automotive leasing industry, In re Vehicle Lease Document Cases.

He has assisted auto dealer groups in developing compliance and ethics programs. He represents clients in regulatory enforcement actions and requests for information. And he litigates complex franchise disputes as well as partnership and corporate dissolution matters. Mr. Scali looks for creative and efficient resolutions to often complex and sensitive business disputes.

Mr. Scali is a certified Corporate Compliance and Ethics Professional.

Melanie Joo

Melanie Joo is a Partner with The Scali Law Firm. For well over a decade, Ms. Joo has represented automotive industry clients on a variety of federal and state regulatory matters, class action and consumer litigation, and transactional matters. She frequently serves as outside general counsel for national automotive clients, leading all work on compliance, transactions, advertising, and government investigations and audits.

Ms. Joo’s practice specializes in assisting national auto dealer groups, Internet start-ups, and other industry groups navigate complex regulatory matters, vehicle advertising campaigns and dealer licensing issues.

Ms. Joo is a certified Corporate Compliance and Ethics Professional.

Todd Leutheuser

Todd Leutheuser is President of the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association, which was established in 1932 and represents the majority of new car and truck dealerships in Southern Los Angeles County.

Sue Wilschke

Sue has a long and distinguished track record in automotive training and consulting. She demonstrates a solid understanding of a dealership’s increasing compliance responsibilities and the processes necessary to avoid fines, penalties, and civil actions.

Now a Compliance Driver at RACER, Sue monitors the dealership Risk Management Plans to identify areas of risk, and then make recommendations to the management regarding that risk. She reports to dealership management monthly to review progress on Risk Management Plan implementation and improvements. Sue works with dealership compliance committees and compliance officers to review current procedures and recommends changes as necessary.