Standing Up for Auto Safety for All Marylanders in 2017
Last year, we led the successful fight for Maryland to pass one of the nation’s strongest car safety disclosure laws. The law breaks new ground by allowing Maryland dealers to share all communications from automakers related to safety or defect issues in their cars with any customer who has purchased or serviced his or her car at the dealership.
To make sure the law is fully effective, Maryland needs to take some clear steps this year to make it easier for consumers to get the information the law is intended to protect, to get their cars fixed when they need them fixed, and to make sure dealers and consumers get the benefits they deserve.
- Clearly prohibit retaliation for safety disclosures: Maryland can protect access to safety information by making clear that car manufacturers are not allowed to deny benefits to consumers or dealers or unfairly alter the market areas of dealers that exercise their right to share important safety and defect data with their customers.
- Limit abusive audits of warranty and incentive work: Maryland can help consumers get their cars fixed under warranty by limiting the time manufacturers have to conduct punitive audits and their ability to punish dealers for clerical errors in repair work. Protecting dealers against such audits will make them more free to do the repair work drivers need
- Make performance standards fairly reflect local market conditions: Maryland can prevent dealers and consumers from being unfairly denied access to sales incentives and other benefits by requiring car manufacturers to use standards that are sensitive to local market conditions when they decide how to allocate those benefits.
You can read more about why these reforms are important to all Marylanders by clicking here
We’ll be working with legislators, advocates and consumers throughout MD’s 2017 legislative session to pass legislation that makes those reforms a reality for Maryland drivers and dealers.
Two Bills to Improve Safety, Transparency, and Fairness
We’re working in Annapolis on two pieces of legislation that can make these reforms a reality for all Marylanders
1. The Better Access to Safety Data and Car Repairs Act (SB 566)
This bill would make it easier for MD drivers to get safety information from their dealers and ease the audit pressures that often stand in the way of dealers doing all the repair work their customers need. It gives teeth to the landmark disclosure law we passed and weakens the ability of automakers to damage dealers that put the needs of their customers first.
You can read our factsheet on the bill by clicking here
2. The Fair Performance Standards Act (SB 1004)
This bill amends MD law to make sure that the sales targets and other standards that determine whether drivers and dealers get sales incentives and other benefits they need fairly reflect the nature of the areas that dealers serve and where consumers shop. Unfair standards can hurt drivers and dealers by making cars cost more than they should in some parts of the state – and sometimes hurting consumers who shop for a car in Maryland.
You can read our Q and A on what these standards mean to you by clicking here
Your support will help us stand up for safety! You can be part of the effort by:
- Signing up for regular email updates on our legislative work and important car safety issues by clicking here
- Following our work on Facebook by clicking here