Pub. 2 2022 Issue 2

ᴏ The provision of the Dealer Law describing what constitutes “good cause” for the termination of a dealer in 61-4-207 was amended to require that the analysis of the subject dealer’s sales consider those metrics that are essential, reasonable and not discriminatory. Metrics must consider the franchisee’s local market variations beyond adjusting for the local popularity of general vehicle types. ᴏ Specific language was added to the Luxury Tax law provisions to exclude the motor vehicles or the sale, lease, rental, loan or providing of any item, product or service by a “Franchisee” as defined in 61-4-201(7). • 2019. The 2019 Session was a big success for MTADA and Montana dealers. Several “real-life” issues Montana dealers experienced over the prior few years were dealt with. Each change arose from circumstances where an OEM – or a third-party vendor aligned with an OEM – exerted economic power and employed heavy-handed tactics to take unfair advantage of several Montana dealers. These modifications address the following: ᴏ It was recognized that dealers collect information from their customers and store said information in electronic data management systems and that the manner in which third parties can access and use the information should remain with the dealer. ᴏ The OEMs obligation to a dealer whose franchise agreement is canceled was clarified by requiring that OEMs must repurchase signs and special tools. A payment timeline was added with financial penalties for nonpayment. Continued from page 17 ᴏ One modification added the retirement of the dealer to the circumstances where a manufacturer is required to honor the designation of a family member as successor dealer for the franchise. ᴏ The method used to set the warranty reimbursement rate was revised. The new provisions completely replace the prior language of the Code regarding warranty reimbursement. ᴏ The add-point provisions were further revised, limiting the frequency of add-point attempts, requiring that additional information on the new dealer be included in the notice and allowing a dealer who successfully objects to recover their costs and attorney fees. • 2021. MTADAs Legislative program for the 2021 Session included updates to the 2019 warranty laws. These laws allow the use of the dealers’ retail labor time guide, the issuance of loaner plates, and mediation and administrative hearings before the MVD for dealer/OEM disputes. These laws also authorize MTADA to act as the Plaintiff in general interest litigation against an OEM. ᴏ The resolution process for OEM/dealer disputes was changed. A mandatory mediation process was created as the first step to resolving any dispute between an OEM and a dealer. If unsuccessful, the next step is filing a petition with DMV following the same procedures used for dealer termination proceedings. The hearing officer’s decision is still subject to appeal to the state District Court and the Montana Supreme Court. 18