2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 1 - SELLING AND OTHER TRADE PRACTICES
ARTICLE 22 - MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISE PRACTICES
PART 3 - MOTOR VEHICLE WARRANTY PRACTICES
§ 10-1-645 - Uniform warranty reimbursement policy amongst dealers
. Uniform warranty reimbursement policy amongst dealers
(a) Any motor vehicle franchisor and at least a majority of its dealers of the same line make may agree in an express written contract, citing this Code section, upon a uniform warranty reimbursement policy used by contracting dealers to perform warranty repairs. The policy shall only involve either reimbursement for parts used in warranty repairs or the use of a uniform time standards manual, or both. Reimbursement for parts under the agreement shall be used instead of the dealers' prevailing retail price charged by that dealer for the same parts as defined in Code Section 10-1-644
to calculate compensation due from the franchisor for parts used in warranty repairs. This Code section does not authorize a franchisor and its dealers to establish a uniform hourly labor reimbursement.
(b) Each franchisor shall only have one such agreement with each line make. Any such agreement shall:
(1) Establish a uniform parts reimbursement rate. The uniform parts reimbursement rate shall be greater than the franchisor's nationally established parts reimbursement rate in effect at the time the first such agreement becomes effective; however, any subsequent agreement shall result in a uniform reimbursement rate that is greater or equal to the rate set forth in the immediately prior agreement;
(2) Apply to all warranty repair orders written during the period that the agreement is effective;
(3) Be available, during the period it is effective, to any motor vehicle dealer of the same line make at any time and on the same terms; and
(4) Be for a term not to exceed three years so long as any party to the agreement may terminate the agreement upon the annual anniversary of the agreement and with 30 days' prior written notice; however, the agreement shall remain in effect for the term of the agreement regardless of the number of dealers of the same line make that may terminate the agreement.
(c)(1) As used in this subsection, the term "costs" means the difference between the uniform reimbursement rate set forth in an agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section and the prevailing retail price charged by that dealer received by those dealers of the same line make.
(2) A franchisor that enters into an agreement with its dealers may seek to recover its costs from only those dealers that are receiving their prevailing retail price charged by that dealer under Code Section 10-1-644
(A) The costs shall be recovered only by increasing the invoice price on new vehicles received by those dealers not a party to an agreement under this Code section; and
(B) Price increases imposed for the purpose of recovering costs under this Code section may vary from time to time and from model to model but shall apply uniformly to all dealers of the same line make in the State of Georgia that have requested reimbursement for warranty repairs at their prevailing retail price charged by that dealer, except that a franchisor may make an exception for vehicles that are titled in the name of a consumer in another state.
(d) If a franchisor contracts with its dealers, the franchisor shall certify under oath to the Department of Revenue that a majority of the dealers of that line make did agree to such an agreement and file a sample copy of the agreement. On an annual basis, each dealer shall certify under oath to the department that the reimbursement costs it recovers under subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of this Code section do not exceed the amounts authorized by subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of this Code section. The franchisor shall maintain for a period of three years a file that contains the information upon which its certification is based.
(e) If a franchisor and its dealers do not enter into an agreement pursuant to this Code section, and for any matter that is not the subject of an agreement, this Code section shall have no effect whatsoever.
(f) For purposes of this Code section, a uniform time standard manual is a document created by a franchisor that establishes the time allowances for the diagnosis and performance of warranty work and service. The allowances shall be reasonable and adequate for the work and service to be performed. Each franchisor shall have a reasonable and fair process that allows a dealer to request a modification or adjustment of a standard or standards included in such a manual.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer