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Aftermarket Associations Sue CARB Over Super Warranty Plan

A coalition of 10 state and national aftermarket trade associations filed legal action against the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in the Superior Court of the state of California for Los Angeles County, challenging the so-called “super warranty” the state would require on all new cars and light trucks.

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The lawsuit challenges regulations set by CARB that would require car companies to extend emissions warranties for parts found defective by emissions warranty information reporting requirements. The group feels these regulations are anti-competitive for independent repair businesses.

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Joining in the suit are the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, Automotive Service Association, Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association, Automotive Service Councils of California, California Automotive Business Coalition, California Automotive Wholesalers Association, California Autobody Association, California Service Station and Automotive Repair Association, Car Care Professionals Network and the Independent Automotive Professionals Association.

"The action by CARB to extend warranties to the useful life will cause extensive economic damage to independent aftermarket service facilities in the state and is unlikely to provide any real clean air or consumer benefit," said Jackie Miller, executive director of the Automotive Service Councils of California. "Because car owners will have no idea whether a needed repair that is indicated by the malfunction indicator light is covered by the extended warranty, motorists will return to the dealer for nearly all repairs."
 
The lawsuit charges that CARB produced no proof that the extended emissions warranties are actually effective in providing incentives to the car companies to build more durable emissions systems. Further, CARB has no data that indicates whether warranties are as effective in moving the motorist to obtain needed emissions-related repairs, according to the coalition.

"California’s Health and Safety code clearly states that the emissions warranty is three years/50,000 miles on all emissions-related components and seven years/70,000 miles for high-priced emissions-related repairs," said Aaron Lowe, AAIA’s vice president of government affairs. "The state’s attempt to extend the warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles for most cars clearly is outside the scope of this statute. The industry is not going to sit idly by while the agency continues to ignore the state’s laws and cause financial harm to California small businesses." (Tire Review/Akron)
 

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