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|February 2018 Government Affairs Update|
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR FEBRUARY 2018
What You Need to Know for February
· Is Nissan favoring dealers with special engine oil allowances?
· Magnuson Moss Actions in California, Florida, Maryland & New Jersey
· Kia/Hyundai Recall Update
· Upcoming National Consumer Protection Week Marketing Opportunity
Nissan Engine Oil Warranty Requirements – Only for Aftermarket Installers?
AOCA has received reports that Nissan dealerships in North America are performing routine oil changes with 5W30 conventional engine oil on Nissan vehicles that require 0W20 full synthetic engine oil for warranty coverage. Given the significant cost difference between these two engine oils, it is no surprise that consumers made aware by Nissan dealerships of what appears to be a dealer-only service option are turning away from aftermarket service providers who must either provide the more expensive full synthetic oil change or require a consumer waiver in the event Nissan North America, Inc. or one of its dealerships should later claim breach of warranty due to the use of non-recommended engine oil.
AOCA is currently seeking an official explanation from Nissan North America regarding this anti-competitive practice. Members who run across this situation are encouraged to report the details to AOCA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magnuson Moss Warranty Act Disclosure Efforts in the States
When consumers don’t know about the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (MMWA), they fall for automaker threats of losing warranty coverage for failure to use branded parts and services. That means one of the fastest, most effective ways to safeguard the aftermarket is to educate consumers. AOCA is approaching this task on two fronts: (1) state legislation mandating dealership disclosure of MMWA rights to consumers at the time of purchase, and (2) maximizing existing state regulatory authority to promote MMWA rights to consumers.
California: The Bureau of Automotive Repair has agreed to include MMWA rights content in its Automotive Repair and Smog Check Newsletter.
Florida: After two years of promoting state legislation, MMWA coalition members have wisely parlayed their foundational work into negotiations with state regulators to include MMWA disclosure language in the Florida Car Buyers Guide and other applicable state consumer notices.
Maryland: HB 434 (see link below) has been introduced in the General Assembly. Maryland members interested in testifying in support of the legislation to require mandatory OEM/dealership MMWA disclosure are encouraged to contact AOCA at email@example.com.
New Jersey: Although A261 passed the Assembly last year after compelling testimony from AOCA Government Affairs Committee member Jay Rosenthal, the bill unfortunately stalled in the Senate for non-substantive reasons. The bill may be reintroduced this year.
Update: Kia/Hyundai Theta Engine Ongoing Recall
For the past six years, fast lube industry experts have reported serious problems with multiple Kia and Hyundai models using the Theta engine. The most common symptoms include: knocking noise, rattling on brake and acceleration, metal shavings in engine oil, oil filter ballooning, and engine seizure. The most common dealership response to Kia/Hyundai customers has been: all malfunctions are caused by failure to use required OEM brand oil filters. And, of course, that lie eventually fell apart when AOCA challenged it as a violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and two consumer class action lawsuits were filed soon after.
The recalls (see links below) resulting from those actions required Hyundai and Kia to recall over a million cars and SUVs in the United States, including Kia Optima, Sorento, and Sportage, and Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe.
As-yet unrecalled models with the exact same symptoms include Hyundai Elantra 1.8L, and Kia Forte 1.8L and Soul 1.6L (prior recalls for other issues). Members who continue to see problem vehicles are encouraged to submit the information—make/model/year/engine/symptoms—to AOCA headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Ready for National Consumer Protection Week March 4 – 10, 2018
Supported by the National Association of Attorneys General, this campaign focuses on helping people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about money. Translation: it’s a great time to talk to your customers about the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act! An easy way to do it is by offering them AOCA’s Consumer Automotive Warranty Rights Survey. https://aoca.site-ym.com/page/MMWASurvey. The statistics from the survey results are also the most effective source of evidence for compelling the Federal Trade Commission and state legislatures into action!