Fair Performance Standards Victory
On the last day of Maryland’s 2017 legislative session, the Assembly approved our bill that mandates that the standards car manufacturers use to determine whether drivers and dealers get access to sales incentives and other important benefits fairly reflect local market conditions (HB 1120).
Now the bill goes on to the governor’s desk. If approved, it will require that those standards more fully take into account the car and truck preferences of consumers and the demographics of local markets. That will improve the access of consumers across Maryland to fair and affordable deals on their vehicles
- You can read the new law here
Still Working for Stronger Disclosure Protections
Unfortunately, the Assembly did not act this year to pass legislation we supported that would have strengthened the landmark car safety disclosure we helped pass in 2016 and eased some of the audit pressures that make it difficult for dealers to put the needs of drivers ahead of the demands of the factory.
The law passed in 2016 broke new ground by prohibiting car manufacturers from punishing dealers for sharing communications from the manufacturers about safety and defect issues with customers who buy or service a car at the dealership. That law is an important step forward in informing Maryland drivers about safety issues – but it isn’t yet strong enough to enable dealers to share full information with their customers.
In fact, we have seen communications from some car manufacturers that seem to ignore the law – and continue to demand that dealers keep some safety issues and information about service campaigns from their customers.
We’ll keep working to give the law the teeth it needs to provide better protections for drivers and dealers.