FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2018
Alaska Legislature Passes Bill to Revise Alaska’s Outdated Automotive Dealership Franchise Agreements
Compromise Between Auto Dealers and Manufacturers Negotiated by Rep. Matt Claman and Sen. Kevin Meyer
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation updating state statutes dealing with franchise agreements between auto dealers and auto manufacturers and distributors. House Bill 136 was sponsored by Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage). The Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 47, was introduced by Senator Kevin Meyer.
The auto dealers in Alaska employ nearly 7,000 people, and car sales account for about 14 percent of total retail sales in Alaska. HB 136 updates Alaska statutes to include protections for both auto dealers and the national manufacturers.
“The great recession of 2008 resulted in GM and Chrysler terminating around 2,000 dealerships nationwide. The fallout from those terminations clearly showed that the laws governing these franchise agreements had to be updated. That’s exactly what HB 136 does,” said Rep. Claman. “I am thankful for the quick action of the State Senate in considering and passing this important bill that creates new consumer protections and provides franchise termination protections for Alaska’s auto dealers.”
House Bill 136 updates statutes relating to warranty repair work and updates warranty repair policies to be more consumer friendly. Specifically, the bill provides new warranty repair work options for consumers who are 100 miles or more away from a dealership. House Bill 136 details what constitutes good cause for dealership terminations and sets out the manufacturers and auto-dealers’ financial responsibilities during terminations. The bill also updates the provisions and terms for transferring or selling a dealership.
House Bill 136 is a product of extensive negotiations between the Alaska Automobile Dealers Association and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The collaboration effort, led by Rep. Claman and Sen. Meyer, resulted in a bill that both parties agree clarifies their individual responsibilities and strengthens protections for Alaskans.
“Everyone involved in the auto industry wants Alaska’s dealerships to be successful, but it is apparent that the standard motor vehicle franchise agreements used by the manufacturers don’t always address our unique state. Passage of this bill creates a sound system for dealers and manufacturers, while also extending consumer protections to the people of Alaska,” said Rep. Claman.
House Bill 136 passed the Alaska State Senate today by a vote of 19-0. Last week the bill passed the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 36-3. HB 136 will now be sent to the Governor for his signature.
For more information, please contact Sara Perman in Rep. Claman’s office at (907) 465-6597.