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|April 2018 Government Affairs Update|
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR APRIL 2018
· iFlex Transmission Product Labeling & Receipt Rules Education Session
· AOCA Submits FOIA for MMWA Warning Letters Sent to Automakers
· API SN Plus Rolls Out
· CA Bureau of Automotive Repair Business Advisory Group Meeting
· AOCA Submits Comments Challenging CA Oil Change Disclosure Proposal
iFlex New Transmission Product Labeling & Receipt Rules Education Session
Las Vegas Convention Center, April 26th from 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Successful Transmission Maintenance Under the New Weights & Measures Regulation
This is a must-attend session for service providers who want to offer transmission maintenance without triggering fines and fraud charges under new Weights & Measures rules effective January 1, 2018 for transmission product labels and receipts. Installers receive more scrutiny and larger fines than manufacturers and distributors, many of whom may not even know about the new rules. Pointing up the chain is not a defense, so learn what to look for today!
To attend, you must purchase an all-access pass to iFlex at The Car Wash Show.
AOCA Submits FOIA for MMWA Warning Letters Sent to Automakers
On April 10th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had sent six warning letters to manufacturers—including automakers—regarding their violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act prohibition against tie-in sales requirements. Each company used different language, but the following are examples FTC referred to as “questionable provisions:”
· The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your . . . manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.
· This warranty shall not apply if this product . . . is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name].
· This warranty does not apply if this product . . . has had the warranty seal on the [product] altered, defaced, or removed.
Although the action taken here is positive, FTC did not post copies of the letters or information about the warned companies’ identities and has refused to provide the information upon request. AOCA has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain them.
API SN Plus Rolls Out
API SN Plus engine oil, also referred to as a supplement, was designed to respond to automakers’ concerns over low speed pre-ignition problems occurring in turbo-charged engines that were supposed to be addressed by the long-delayed GF-6 ILSAC standard. Products meeting the standard will be labeled with the API donut:
It is important for installers to accurately identify this new oil on customer receipts as “Brand SAE [viscosity grade] API SN Plus."
CA Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Business Advisory Group Meeting
AOCA Executive Director Kristy Babb participated in the BAR Business Advisory Group meeting at BAR headquarters on April 19th. The agency has several legislative, regulatory, and enforcement issues pending that impact the fast lube industry, including:
· BAR Sunset Review Legislation, AB 3141, which is anticipated to ultimately include language to provide BAR total authority to determine whether any “minor” services or repairs will be considered exempt from triggering automotive repair dealer registration.
· Electronic Estimates Regulatory Proposal to allow digital means of providing necessary estimate information and obtaining required customer approval to proceed with them.
· Oil Change Interval Disclosure Regulatory Proposal to create new requirements for registered automotive repair dealers to (1) adhere to published OEM interval ranges, national standards setting organizations’ recommendations and/or Cal Recycle’s recommendations for recommending oil change intervals to customers; and (2) include a specific notice about access to interval information on every receipt that includes an oil change service. Although the current proposal eliminates per AOCA’s objection a prior proposed anti-competitive requirement to refer customers to automakers’ websites, AOCA must continue to object due to the agency’s lack of evidence demonstrating the usefulness of its proposed solution to an alleged problem not raised by consumers. READ AOCA’s COMMENTS HERE.
· Exempt Services Regulatory Proposal that formerly proposed to add a host of services now proposes to add only roadside services a/k/a the AAA exemption. This raises a potential challenge because BAR’s current statutory authority to add exempt services depends on a proposed service not requiring “mechanical expertise” and several roadside services activities arguably require “mechanical expertise.”
BAR documents and presentations associated with this meeting can be found at https://www.bar.ca.gov/About_BAR/BAR_Advisory_Group.html