Julia Ross Posts

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Johnson Controls, the parent company of DSC and Qolsys, recently released a technical advisory regarding the DSC WS4936 Photoelectric Smoke Detector. Pressing the "Test" button on the device will only trigger the sounder and will not cause the detector to transmit a wireless alarm signal.


The DSC WS4936 Photoelectric Smoke Detector operates at 433 MHz. This is not a DSC PowerG bi-directional smoke. When the "Test" button is pressed on an affected unit, it will sound the smoke detector's built-in sounder, but it will not transmit a signal to the alarm panel, and therefore will not cause an alarm on the panel during the test. In order to properly test the smoke detector, canned smoke should be used. This has the added benefit of being a functional test, and not just a test of the sounder and the transmitter for the WS4936.

Not all DSC WS4936 Smoke Detectors are affected by this issue. In fact, it's a relatively small number. Units produced between February 2022 and April 2022 are the only ones affected. You can determine if you have an affected smoke detector by checking the Date Code on your unit. To check the Date Code, find the ESN sticker. The Date Code will be a 4-digit number. The first two digits are the year of manufacture, the last two digits indicate the week of that year. February through April would show Date Codes of 2207 - 2217. New units without this anomaly will begin shipping in early May 2022.


If you determine you have a DSC WS4936 that is affected by this issue, and you would like to replace it, DSC will gladly do so. Contact your distributor or the alarm dealer you purchased the smoke detector from, and they can confirm the issue and arrange a replacement. However, these units still work perfectly well. In order to continue using an affected unit, all you need to do is be sure you test using canned smoke, as opposed to just using the "Test" button on the unit. If you purchased an affected unit from Alarm Grid, contact us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com, referencing your order number and this post. We will be happy to assist you with a replacement.

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An announcement on the AlarmNet360 page shows that they will send a remote reset command to some LTEM-PA, LTEM-PV, LTEM-PIA, and LTEM-PIV radios. This will occur today, Friday 04/15/22 between 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET. This may cause a trouble condition, and queued alarm reports could be sent.

It's unclear why this is being done. After a successful reset occurs, the radio will send an "E339-EXP. Module Power ON / Reset" message to the monitoring station. If the radio was in comm failure prior to the reset and any unsent alarm signals were queued, this reset may cause those alarm messages to be sent. These signals would show up immediately following the E339 signal at the central station. We assume this would also cause the same alarm messages to show up in Total Connect 2.0, and to be sent as notifications.

In addition, depending on how the panel is programmed, this event may cause the panel to display a bF or Check 103 message, and could also cause trouble beeping from the keypad. Disarming the system twice should clear the message and return the system to its normal state.

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The Resideo PROINDMV offers a cost-effective alternative to full video monitoring. Up to eight (8) PROINDMV devices can be added to each Total Connect 2.0 account, with no upgrade to full video surveillance required. When activated, the PROINDMV can take a still image or a 10-second clip.


For Alarm Grid customers, any Silver monitoring plan (Self or Full), or higher, can support up to eight (8) of these motion viewers. A Self Bronze plan, can support one (1) PROINDMV. Also, if the panel happens to be set to Local Alarm Mode, then only one (1) motion viewer can be added with clips available locally only. Clips or images captured by the motion viewer can be viewed through the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS or Resideo PROA7PLUSC panel touchscreen, or through Total Connect 2.0. The PROINDMV is not compatible with the non-plus versions of the ProSeries panels.

In order for the PROINDMV to create a clip or image and send it to the panel and TC2, the panel it's used with must have at least a 15-second burglary communication delay enabled, and the panel must stay in alarm long enough for an alarm report to be triggered. At that point, the clip or image will be sent to the panel and to TC2. In the case of the panel being in Local Alarm Mode, the clip will only be sent to the panel. The motion viewer is never recording unless it has detected an alarm. This means that there is no peek-in feature for the motion viewer. A user can't pull up their TC2 account, choose a PROINDMV device and bring up a real-time image. Hopefully, this may change in future firmware updates.

When the system is armed, and a video or image capture occurs during the Entry Delay period, the motion viewer holds any images or clips until after the Entry Delay has expired. If the system is disarmed before the end of Entry Delay, then any clips or images captured during that time are discarded. If it is not disarmed, then those images or clips will be sent once an alarm report is triggered.

Once the PROINDMV has captured a clip or image, it waits either 1.5 minutes (if there is no activity) or 3 minutes (in the event of constant activity) before it will capture another image or clip. A Maximum of ten (10) captures can occur during an armed period (this is assuming Swinger Suppression is set at the Maximum of 6). I assume this is ten (10) captures per PROINDMV, not per account, but its unclear. I will attempt to confirm this and update this post with that information. When programming, a PROINDMV can be assigned to any active partition. The response types that are available for the motion viewer are Interior Follower or Interior with Delay. So, the PROINDMV will only be active when its partition is armed Away, or Night (assuming the PROINDMV is enabled for Night Stay Mode).

When the panel camera log gets full, once ten (10) captures have been saved, it will begin to overwrite the oldest captures with new ones. All motion viewer captures are purged from the panel log after 30-days. The panel camera log can not be viewed through AlarmNet360, meaning an alarm dealer can't view any potentially private images. Image or clip captures are sent over WIFI (any time its available) or Cellular (if WIFI is down, or not present). Currently, motion captures cannot be viewed through the Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH or Resideo PROWLTOUCHC.


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Resideo has been investigating an issue with a very small number of communicators. The LTE-CFV, HWF2V-COM, LTE-IV, LTE-L3V, and VISTA-21IPLTE with LTE-21V. In a few cases, starting on March 19, 2022, the Verizon LTE SIM has become locked, causing a comm failure, or secondary path failure.


A device with this issue will show the following symptoms: Locally at the device, the LEDs will flash regularly at a rate of two times per second (see video above). Through AlarmNet360, the affected devices will have checked in normally for the period leading up to March 19, 2022. Then beginning on that date, or on a subsequent date through March 28, 2022, a comm failure will be indicated. Once the comm fail indication appears, it will not clear, so if you've had a comm failure during this time that has restored, then your communication failure is not being caused by this issue.

In addition to the above evidence of an issue, the alarm panel that the communicator is connected to will have a trouble indication displayed. This may come in the form of a Check 103, or a bF on VISTA-20P and similar panels, and also the L3000 panel. For the L3000 panel, the bF will only show on an RF keypad, such as the 5828 or 5828V, the panel itself will show Check or Fault 103. To silence any trouble beeping, enter a disarm command at any panel keypad. These trouble messages can be caused by other things, not just this issue, so if you see one of these error messages and think you may be affected, be sure to contact your alarm dealer for further assistance.

Bear in mind that only the communicators listed above are affected, and that these are all Verizon SIM Cards. If you have an AT&T Communicator, you needn't worry about this issue. Also, for those who have a dual-path communicator with Ethernet connected, you will not necessarily see a Communication Failure message. Instead you will be notified of a Secondary Path Failure. Again, if you are affected by this issue, once the failure occurs, it will not restore. So if you've received a Secondary Path Failure that has since restored, then you experienced a separate issue.

Again, if you feel that you have been affected by this issue, contact your alarm dealer. They can confirm if you are affected and will be able to assist you in receiving a replacement SIM. Alarm Grid customers who are affected have already been contacted and replacement SIMs are on the way. If any further information becomes available, we'll update this post with further details.

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Alarm Grid has long steered customers away from Schlage locks due to support issues. In our experience, we have spent time troubleshooting myriad issues between these locks and a number of different Z-Wave controllers. Now, Resideo and Honeywell Home have announced confirmed issues as well.

On April 6, 2022, Resideo and Honeywell Home released a Technical Notification to let users know that recent testing discovered a compatibility issue between Schlage lock models BE468, CAM716, and BE469ZP with the newest Honeywell Home TUXEDO and Resideo TUXEDOC keypads. Also incompatible are the ProSeries panels. The ProSeries lineup includes the Honeywell Home PROA7 and PROA7PLUS and the Resideo PROA7C and PROA7PLUSC. The PLUS versions of these panels offer Z-Wave Plus functionality right out of the box, however the NON-PLUS versions require the addition of the PROWIFIZW in order to offer Z-Wave support.

It should be noted that this alert doesn't include other Resideo or Honeywell Z-Wave controller products such as the Lyric, or the L5100-ZWAVE paired with any of the LynxTouch panels. To the best of our knowledge, these products are still compatible with all of the Schlage locks, though we at Alarm Grid still recommend using a Yale or a Kwikset lock instead of a Schlage, even with one of these controllers. Now that the Honeywell Lyric has been discontinued, and the only LynxTouch panel still available is the L5210, Total Connect 2.0 adherents may be hard pressed to find a panel to support a pre-existing Schlage lock.

It is also important to note that not all Schlage locks that were tested were found to be incompatible. The Schlage J-Series, including the JBE109 and JFE109 locks are compatible and both have been added to the compatibility list for the TUXEDO and ProSeries products. You can read the full MyWebTech Technical Notification #71, which includes compatibility documents for both the TUXEDO keypads, and the ProSeries panels.

Have you tried to use a Schlage Lock with a Honeywell, Honeywell Home, or Resideo Z-Wave controller? Were you successful, or no? Leave a note in the comments below with any thoughts or questions about this announcement. We always look forward to hearing from our readers.

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ISC West, the security industry's largest trade show, was held this week in Las Vegas. This is the first year since the COVID-19 outbreak that the show is being held in person. We didn't attend the show this year, but based on what we've seen, JCI and Qolsys won the ISC West show in 2022.

Qolsys:

IQ Pro

Qolsys, Inc. which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2020, premiered two brand new products, and reintroduced one more. The IQ Pro Panel is a hybrid wired and wireless system which targets large homes, and medium to large businesses. It combines the reliability of hardwired components with the range and versatility of the DSC PowerG Sensor lineup. The product is planned for release in Summer, 2022.

There is very little information available about the IQ Pro. The Press Release announcing the product, which was released by Johnson Controls, didn't even say for certain that it would be a Qolsys branded product, though with 'IQ' as a part of the name, we assume it will be. This panel will combine elements of the IQ Panel 4 with the DSC PowerSeries Neo, and a little bit of customer feedback thrown in. A couple of things we do know, the IQ Pro will offer the choice of either Ethernet or WIFI connectivity along with LTE. This panel has been designed with Alarm.com for Business in mind, to take advantage of all the extended features offered there.

IQ WIFI 6

The Qolsys IQ WIFI 6 was actually first introduced to us here at Alarm Grid last year. It is a product we thought was going to released then, but it was introduced at ISC West and should be available in Summer, along with the IQ Pro. The IQ WIFI 6 is is a router that uses 802.11 1/b/g/n/ac/ax WIFI-6 technology. It offers dual-end 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz MIMO mesh architecture on a Qualcomm Networking Pro 400 platform. It will integrate with Qolsys touchscreen panels, to allow a user to administer the network from there.

The IQ WIFI 6 will offer four (4) network partitions, including a Guest Network and a dedicated network for the end-user's WIFI devices. Both of these will switch automatically between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz for seamless optimization of WIFI performance. In addition to these partitions, there are two (2) private network partitions to be used by security and/or networking providers. By separating the security, surveillance, and smart home devices from the rest of the network, professional providers can cut down on disruptions caused by user error.

IQ Hub

The Qolsys IQ Hub has actually already been released, in a limited fashion within the last six (6) months or so. Presumably due to supply chain issues, Qolsys has tightly controlled how many of these panels are shipped, but now, based on a press release this week, it seems like they may be looking to perform a wider release. The IQ Hub differs from the IQ Panel 4 in several ways, one of which is that each panel will only support one RF product line. There is a PowerG version with either an AT&T or Verizon communicator. This is the only version that has been released at this time. Soon however, there will be a version that supports unencrypted, uni-directional Honeywell and 2GIG wireless sensors, one that supports unencrypted, uni-directional Interlogix and all Qolsys wireless sensors, and a version that supports uni-directional DSC 433 MHz wireless sensors.

Resideo:

Cellbounce

Resideo and Honeywell Home brought the Cellbounce to ISC West. This device will bridge communicators that work on the AT&T 3G network over to the AT&T LTE network, without having to replace the device. This is a plug-n-play device. It connects to an outlet within range, which is 25' (7.62m), of the existing AT&T 3G communicator, though be sure not to plug the Cellbounce in until it has been configured by your alarm dealer.

It syncs to the 3G communicator, then with the LTE network and any signals sent by the communicator will be picked up and transported via LTE. It even works with Total Connect 2.0, though it does not work with two-way voice. It also only works in the contiguous United States, so Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico residents, the Cellbounce is not for you. There are some other caveats and limitations, so be sure to read our product description carefully before purchasing.

2GIG, Nortek Control:

2GIG Edge

In October of 2021 Nortek Control, the parent company of 2GIG, was purchased by Nice. Nice originated in Italy, with Nice North America handling the US and Canadian segment of the business. This year at ISC West, Nice put their stamp on this relatively new acquisition. In addition to some commercial camera innovations by Linear, Nice/Nortek Control announced during ISC West that they will offer exclusive integration between the 2GIG Edge security panel and the ELAN Home Control platform. The Edge has been out for about a year now. You can read all about it here.

According to their press release, this integration will be supported by the ELAN SC-100 and ELAN SC-300 system controllers running ELAN 8.7 OS (which won't be available until April, 2022). The 2GIG Edge panel requires firmware version 3.1.1.0 or later. Firmware can be pushed through Alarm.com or downloaded. This panel firmware version is not available from 2GIG just yet, but once it is posted, our page will be updated. One of the more convenient features of this integration is the ELAN Control Auto Zone Detection feature. If the ELAN system is setup first, with zone names, once the 2GIG Edge is installed, it can download all zones and zone names directly from ELAN, without having to re-enter the information.


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It's time for ISC West, and all the manufacturers are putting their best foot forward. Resideo now has Release 4 for the ProSeries panels on offer. This update adds Dealer Branding, Customized Voice Descriptors, a WIFI Access Point, 2-Way Voice per Partition, and an Easy Access Help Screen.

Dealer Branding

This can be a hot-button topic for our DIY customers. Many of them don't want dealer branding to mar the look of their touchscreen panel. Release 4 adds the ability to push Dealer Branding to the Honeywell Home PROA7, PROA7PLUS and Resideo PROA7C and PROA7PLUSC. We're not sure how we're going to treat this feature, so stay tuned for more information on this topic.

Customized Voice Descriptors

In the past, Honeywell and now Resideo, and Honeywell Home panels that have supported the voice chime feature were limited to speaking words from a pre-set vocabulary. If a custom voice descriptor was used, then the panel or keypad would just skip that word when speaking the descriptor, as though it didn't exist. With Release 4, this changes for the ProSeries panels. Using either AlarmNet360 or local programming, a custom word descriptor can be entered. It then goes through a text-to-speech process.

If text-to-speech processing occurs on the AlarmNet360 server, then if the custom voice descriptor is typed in by the alarm dealer through AlarmNet360, it will then have to be processed and downloaded to the panel. Then it's ready to be spoken for the zone in question. If the custom voice descriptor is typed in using local panel programming, that means the typed word has to be uploaded, processed, then downloaded again. If processing occurs at the panel, instead of AlarmNet360, then basically the same thing will happen, just in reverse. The point is, some processing and transferring of data must occur, so this kind of change can take a few minutes.

Another very important change comes with this update. In the past, the Device Type has always been spoken as a portion of the zone descriptor (with the exception of Device Type Other). If the Device Type was Window, and you wanted the voice descriptor to be "Front Window" then you only entered "Front" as Zone Descriptor 1 and left Zone Descriptor 2 blank. The panel would automatically say Window as the Device Type. Now, this has changed. The Device Type is no longer being spoken as part of the voice descriptor. So, for my office window, I used Zone Descriptor 1 - Julia, Zone Descriptor 2 - Side, and Device Type Window. However, now, in order to get the panel to actually say "Julia Side Window", I had to make Zone Descriptor 1 - "Julia Side", and Zone Descriptor 2 - "Window". This is a big difference, and may cause some issues, particularly for those with lots of zones. I look for this to possibly change in the near future.

WIFI Access Point

A WIFI Access Point has been added to the ProSeries panels. With this access point the Honeywell Home PROWLTOUCH or Resideo PROWLTOUCHC touchscreen keypad can still be added to a system where no WIFI connection normally exists. This is often an issue seen in second homes, or cabins, where it doesn't make sense to pay for an internet connection when the home is unoccupied. Up to eight (8) secondary keypads can be used per ProSeries panel. Using either the aforementioned touchscreen keypads or the Honeywell Home PROSIXLCDKP push button keypad. As a PROSIX Series Device, the PROSIXLCDKP doesn't require any type of internet connection. It communicates to the panel in the same manner as any PROSIX Series zone does.

Two-Way Voice Per Partition

Two-Way Voice is a feature that allows the central station operator to connect to the location that reported an alarm and either listen in, speak to persons on site, or carry on a two-way conversation. Those, "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" commercials of yesteryear are an early example of two-way voice.

The ProSeries panels have always supported up to four (4) partitions, however, earlier versions did not support two-way voice per partition. When a system with two-way voice enabled reports a burglary or panic signal, the monitoring station receives a special signal. They can then press a command on their end that begins the voice session. Once connected, they can press the 4-Key on their telephone keypad to toggle through up to four (4) touchscreen keypads on the system. Each of those touchscreens can be assigned to any of the partitions that are enabled.

Easy Access Help Screen

In Release 4, a user can go to the hamburger menu icon at the bottom center of the display on either the main panel, or any secondary touchscreen keypad. Once the menu comes up, scroll all the way to the bottom and press Help. A QR Code will be displayed. Scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet, and then press "Youtube" and you'll be taken to the Resideo and Honeywell Home ProSeries channel on Youtube. You can then browse through the help topics for a video that addresses your issue.


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Final Update: Per a restoral announcement, this issue was resolved by 11:45 AM

Update 10:56 AM: According to Resideo, these notifications are the result of "catch-up" notifications from the outage earlier this week. As the queue for these old messages clears out, the erroneous messages should taper off. In the meantime, actual disarm photos may be delayed.

Original Post: We've had multiple reports this morning of Honeywell Lyric users who are receiving disarm photos from their panels every few minutes. Even users who don't have notifications enabled for disarm photos are being bombarded via the activity log. If you are affected, ignore disarm photo notifications for now.

Initially, it was only Lyric users who were reporting this issue, but now we've received reports from users of the Pro Series panels as well. It seems to be Push Notifications that are being affected. To disable Push Notifications for now, do the following:

  1. Log into Total Connect 2.0.
  2. Go to More > Settings > Notifications.
  3. Tap the toggle for Push Notifications so that it is disabled.

We'll provide more details as they become available.

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Resideo sent out a notice on March 16 that the Lynx 3000 and the LynxTouch 7000, (aka the L3000 and the L7000) are discontinued. The Lynx Touch 5210 (L5210) is still being manufactured. This marks the end of an era for this product line as there is now no push-button panel option available.

Alarm Grid has already discontinued the L3000 panel because there are none in stock. There are some L7000 panels in inventory, so you can still purchase one of those panels, for now. However, as soon as stock is exhausted the L7000 will also be history. Speaking of history, the Lynx panel has had quite a run. The original Lynx panel was released in the 1990s and didn't even have a rechargeable battery.

The next iteration, the Lynx-R (R for Rechargeable), came along very soon after the Lynx (for obvious reasons). Then the LynxR-24, the LynxR-EN. There were so many different versions over the next 20 years. It used to be quite a job just figuring out which Lynx panel someone had when they needed support! It wasn't always a requirement that you know the version in order to solve the issue, but at times, the version information was crucial.

In the early 2010s the LynxTouch panels came along with the introduction of the LynxTouch L5000. That panel was missing some key features. It couldn't support any type of internet communication. It didn't have a back door into programming, so if you lost the Installer Code, well, that was too bad. So, pretty soon the L5100 was released with desirable features included that were missing in the L5000. We have an entire video devoted to discussing the versions of the LynxTouch panels, their differences, and how you can tell them apart.

Now, we're saying goodbye to the Lynx 3000, and the LynxTouch L7000. Since the first Lynx panel was introduced nearly 30 years ago, this is the first time there is no push-button version of a Lynx available. These panels have been very popular in apartments and dormitories, and I'm sure they will be missed. They are being replaced by the Honeywell Home PROA7, the Resideo PROA7C, the Honeywell Home PROA7PLUS, or the Resideo PROA7PLUSC.

The Lynx lineup is not completely gone, though. The Resideo LynxTouch 5210 (L5210) is still being manufactured. This panel occupies the middle ground between the L3000 and the L7000. It has a touchscreen, though it is rather small at 4.3 inches. It offers nearly all the same features as the L7000, albeit fewer of them. This means fewer zones, and fewer users in addition to the smaller screen, but also a smaller price tag. Check out this comparison between the L7000 and the L5210. This comparison includes the Lyric in addition to the L5210 and the L7000.

What do you think about this discontinuation? Given the fact that they have continued to update communicators for the L3000 to include the LTE products, I thought the L3000 was going to be around forever. Are you surprised at this news? Drop us a line in the comments below and let us know what you think. We enjoy a spirited conversation!

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I was able to speak with an industry insider familiar with the events at Resideo's data center on Sunday night into Monday evening. This person related to me that there was an HVAC failure at the primary data center. It was initially thought to be an easy fix, but that turned out to be false.

Things started to go wrong in Resideo's primary data center on Sunday night at around 7:00 PM Eastern Time. An HVAC failure allowed the temperature in the data center to climb to a dangerous level for the servers located there. The normal temperature is around 70℉ (21℃) but on Sunday it rose into the neighborhood of 130℉ (54.4℃). The servers are set to failsafe, so rather than continue running, and risk catastrophic damage, they began to shut down.

An automated system is in place which notifies engineering and other stakeholders when a serious event like this occurs. An HVAC technician responded. Initially, the technician believed this would be a quick and easy fix, so the decision was made not to switch to the secondary data center, which is located in the Chicago area. The switch takes a bit of time, somewhere around 20 minutes, and the thought was that it wouldn't be worthwhile at that point to make the switch.

However, the HVAC tech discovered that in order to implement a fix, he or she was going to require a part, which they didn't have and couldn't get at that time. So, at around 1:00 AM Eastern Time, the decision was made to switch things over to the secondary data center. By about 1:30 AM Eastern Time, the backup data center was in control.

At around daylight Monday morning the HVAC system in the primary data center had been fixed. Once it was fixed, there was a period of time where the temperature was coming down to an acceptable level. By approximately 11:00 AM Eastern Time, Resideo was ready to switch back to the primary data center. At this point, alarm signaling was back up and had been for some time. By around 2:00 PM AlarmNet360 was back up, and by about 6:00 PM Total Connect 2.0 was back online, though customers and our own testing show that it was somewhat sluggish at first.

This outage affected three (3) things. The most serious was alarm signaling. During the early hours of the outage, customer's systems were unable to send signals to the monitoring station, or to send notifications to the customers themselves. Total Connect 2.0, the customer-facing app and website for end-user remote control was also down. Lastly, AlarmNet360, the alarm dealer facing service used to create or cancel accounts and remotely troubleshoot issues was also affected. When things went wrong, the initial focus was on getting alarm signaling backup as quickly as possible. This was the focus when they initially switched to the Chicago area data center.

This is a fully redundant system, and it is tested regularly. According to my source, there were hourly notifications being sent to alarm dealers, but the database of email addresses for these notifications seems to be outdated. This is something they will address going forward. A root cause analysis will be completed in the coming days, and any processes or procedures that need to be updated will be dealt with at that time. The site at status.resideo.com doesn't have a section showing either AlarmNet360 or Total Connect 2.0 status. Hopefully, this is something that will change in the very near future as well. Finally, those dealers who did receive notification noted that the emails weren't flagged as containing particularly important information. This is also something that will be addressed in the future.

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