Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 15. Motor Vehicle Dealers
5/23/2017

§ 46.2-1566. Filing of franchises.

A. It shall be the responsibility of each motor vehicle manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, distributor branch, or subsidiary thereof to file with the Commissioner by certified mail a true copy of each new, amended, modified, or different form or addendum offered to more than one dealer which affects the rights, responsibilities, or obligations of the parties of a franchise or sales, service, or sales and service agreement to be offered to a motor vehicle dealer or prospective motor vehicle dealer in the Commonwealth no later than 60 days prior to the date the franchise or sales agreement is offered. In no event shall a new, amended, modified, or different form of franchise or sales, service, or sales and service agreement be offered a motor vehicle dealer in the Commonwealth until the form has been determined by the Commissioner as not containing terms inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter. At the time a filing is made with the Commissioner pursuant to this section, the manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, distributor branch, or subsidiary shall also give written notice together with a copy of the papers so filed to the affected dealer or dealers.

B. The Department shall inform the manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, distributor branch, or subsidiary and the dealer or dealers or other parties named in the agreement of a preliminary recommendation as to the consistency of the agreement with the provisions of this chapter. If any of the parties involved have comments on the preliminary recommendation, they must be submitted to the Commissioner within 30 days of receiving the preliminary recommendation. The Commissioner shall render his decision within 15 days of receiving comments from the parties involved. If the Commissioner does not receive comments within the 30-day time period, he shall make the final determination as to the consistency of the agreement with the provisions of this chapter.

C. Any form or addendum that is not filed as required by this section may not be the basis for (i) any reduction in compensation due to a dealer from the franchisor, (ii) any franchisor demand or requirement by which a dealer must abide, or (iii) any penalty or detriment a franchisor imposes or attempts to impose on a motor vehicle dealer. This section shall not apply to any dealer program or dealer incentive that is not inconsistent with any form or addendum already on file by the manufacturer with the state or that expires within 12 months of its start date, or the continuation, renewal, or modification of any dealer program or dealer incentive that was in place as of July 1, 2015. This section shall not apply to any consumer program or consumer incentive, including discount pricing programs.

1988, c. 865, § 46.1-550.5:24; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 537; 1995, cc. 767, 816; 2015, c. 236.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.