TRALA-Supported Louisiana Warranty Legislation Signed by Governor
Senate Bill 243 was a compromise that TRALA helped craft with the Louisiana Auto Dealers Association and the Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA). The law essentially says that automobile manufacturers must give notice to state dealerships of warranty authorization to fleets as well as places requirements on automobile fleets that they have the same basic level of special tools, technician certification and training that a state dealer would have. TRALA and LMTA were successful in having language added that says that neither the notification provision nor the special tools section shall apply to truck manufacturers who authorize fleet owners whose commercial vehicles are used for the movement of property, freight or goods.
SB 243 concludes a nearly year-long effort by TRALA and others to advance legislation that would allow truck fleets the ability to continue to perform warranty repair work as they have been able to do for decades. Last year it was realized that language existed but had never been enforced which forbid manufacturers from authorizing any non-dealer to perform warranty repairs. While it was clear that this language was never intended to impact vehicle fleets, it did not expressly exempt them and so the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) announced last year that they intended to begin enforcement immediately. TRALA acted quickly to help formulate a coalition in Louisiana of interested parties and began deliberations in the fall of 2014 after Governor Jindal stepped in and asked all sides to work out a deal and asked the MVC not to enforce the existing law until that deal was completed in 2015.
If the existing law had been left untouched, TRALA members would not have been allowed to continue with their lease and/or maintenance agreements with lessees, and as a result, existing contracts could have been subject to breach of contract claims. In Louisiana alone the costs would have been in the millions annually in lost time and unused facilities that TRALA members had already invested in order to conduct such warranty repairs. In addition, no other state currently has such language in statute and if truck fleets had been impacted by allowing the existing law to remain or if a compromise had been reached that still put significant limits on truck fleets in any way, it clearly would have been a precedent for other states to potentially follow suit.
You may view a copy of the final legislation by clicking here.
TRALA wishes to thank LMTA Executive Director Cathy Gautreaux for her partnership throughout this process as well as the many TRALA members who helped with grass roots and lobbying efforts in Louisiana so that a successful resolution could be reached.
If you have any questions regarding the warranty legislation, please contact Jake Jacoby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-299-9120.