Your Dues at Work

AOCA is the voice of the fast lube industry when regulation and/or legislation at the federal or state level is unreasonable and threatens to make doing business more difficult. AOCA also keeps you informed on staying in compliance, alerts you to other important issues affecting your business, and organizes grassroots action to maximize your group power.

Here is the latest list of advocacy work our team has done to directly benefit AOCA members: 

  • Promoting Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Enforcement to Combat Manipulative Anti-Aftermarket OEM Statements and Warranty Language

Over a period of twelve years, AOCA filed many complaints against MMWA-violating automakers with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because operators were losing up to 70% of their customer base associated with makes like Honda, Kia, Mazda and BMW due to unsubstantiated and often slanderous claims that aftermarket parts and service would void warranty coverage. Although FTC took action against BMW in 2015 and also updated its MMWA regulation per AOCA’s request that they officially recognized implied tying arrangements (tying branded products and service to warranty coverage), FTC failed to require automakers and dealers to provide affirmative notice to consumers regarding their MMWA rights. Since consumers don’t try to enforce rights they don’t know about, AOCA launched a new state legislative campaign to make new car dealer disclosure of MMWA rights to consumers mandatory. Connecticut passed the law in July 2015. New state campaigns are under way now.

  • Amending National Weights & Measures Rules that Prejudiced Installers Regarding Bulk Oil Storage and Delivery and Use of Packaged Products

This helps avoid the cost of recalling all of the customers serviced from a bulk tank misdelivery, re-servicing their cars for free, paying for any related engine damage, and buying the legal defense necessary to prove the distributor (a) had an obligation to deliver a different product, (b) that the product delivered was incorrect, and (c) that it was, in fact, said distributor who made the delivery. (Estimated at $30,000 to $50,000 with fines up to $5,000 per incident for using engine oil marked ACEA instead of API) AOCA’s work eliminated those risks by ensuring the regulations acknowledge all forms of legitimate oil license (API, ACEA, OEM-direct approval) and require distributors to provide detailed bulk product receipts at delivery.

  • Protecting Fast Lube Operators’ Ability to Use Aftermarket ATF Products

This prevents operators from having to double or triple their expenses to obtain and store individual containers of every OEM’s proprietary ATF products while increasing the risk of technician misapplication.

  • Protecting the Used Oil Recycling Chain

By preventing the direct and indirect hazardous listing and/or treatment of used oil, as well as protecting the option of utilizing used oil-fired space heaters, operators have saved $5,000 to $10,000 per month in transporter fees and increased facility and water heating costs. Instead of paying to transport a hazardous waste, used oil feedstock has generated money for fast lube operators until the very recent oil market plunge...that will inevitably turn around. Federal and state regulatory and legislative attacks on this waste stream have not stopped since 1991.

  • Combating Manipulative OEM Statements and Warranty Language

Operators won’t lose 70% of your customer base from a makes like Honda, Kia, Mazda or BMW, due to unsubstantiated and often slanderous manufacturer claims.

  • Opposing Discriminatory Anti-Aftermarket State Legislation

Operators don’t have to pay a $1,000 for every car serviced without signage or windshield stickers declaring automakers know best.

  • Opposing Reinstatement of the Old National Tire Registration System

This opposition protects operators that sell tires from the risk of paying $1,000 - $10,000 in fines for every tire not registered by customers up to a maximum fine of $800,000 per location.

  • Eliminating P.E. Certification for Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans Required by Federal Law for All Aboveground Storage Tank Systems with greater than 1,320 Gallons of Combined Oil Storage Capacity (including tanks in basements)

Creating a fast lube-specific, small operator SPCC plan and obtaining EPA’s approval to use it without non-Professional Engineer certified plans saves operators $1,500 - $5,000 per facility every five years.

  • “Service Station Dealer” Exemption Application and Expedited Processing

AOCA’s hard won fight to force EPA to develop and implement a special Service Station Dealer Exemption application with expedited processing has saved qualified operators $30,000 - $1,000,000 in cleanup costs and lawyer fees per fast lube per used oil recycling site turned Superfund site. EPA has initiated cleanup at over 32 such sites since AOCA forced EPA to both recognize the exemption and adopt an expedited exemption application process.