Timeframes for approval and Reimbursement of Warranty ClaimsN.H. REV. STAT. ANN. § 357-C:5(II)(d)(1):
• 30 days to approve or reject the claim
• If no written rejection within 30 days with grounds for rejection, the claim is deemed approved.
• 30 days to pay after approval.
• A dealer shall not declare an average percentage markup or average labor rate more than once in a calendar year.
Reimbursement Rate for PartsN.H. REV. STAT. ANN. § 357-C:5(II)(b)(1):
• No less than retail rate; determined by agreement or, absent agreement, 100 sequential customer-paid ROs or 90 consecutive days of customer-paid service ROs, whichever is less, covering repairs within 180 days before submission.
• NOTE: Based on statute effective9/23/13
Reimbursement Rate for LaborN.H. REV. STAT. ANN. § 357-C:5(II)(b)(1):
• No less than the retail rate.
TITLE XXXI TRADE AND COMMERCE
CHAPTER 357-C REGULATION OF BUSINESS PRACTICES
BETWEEN MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND DEALERS
357-C:5 Warranty Obligations, Transportation Damage, and Indemnification. –
I. Every manufacturer, distributor, or branch or division thereof shall fulfill the terms of any express or implied warranty it makes concerning the sale of a new motor vehicle to the public or ultimate purchaser of the line make which is the subject of a contract or franchise agreement. If it is determined by the court in an action at law that the manufacturer has violated its express or implied warranty, the court shall add to any award or relief granted an additional award for reasonable attorney’s fees and other necessary expenses for maintaining the litigation.
II. If any franchisor shall require or permit franchisees to perform services or provide parts in satisfaction of a warranty issued by the franchisor:
(a) The franchisor shall specify in writing to each of its new motor vehicle dealers in this state, the dealers’ obligations for warranty service on its products, shall compensate the new motor vehicle dealer for warranty service required of the dealer by the manufacturer, and shall provide the dealer the schedule of compensation to be paid such dealer for parts, work and service in connection with warranty services, and the time allowance for the performance of such work and service. Warranty service on trucks and equipment, except for those sold by a single line equipment dealer, shall include the cost, including labor, to transport a motor vehicle under warranty in order to perform the warranty work and to return the motor vehicle to the customer, or, if transporting the trucks and equipment to the dealership is not mechanically or financially feasible, to travel to and return from the locations of the motor vehicle if the warranty repairs are performed at the location of the motor vehicle; provided that reimbursement for travel time shall not exceed 4hours.
(b)(1) In no event shall a schedule of compensation for parts, work, and service in connection with warranty services fail to include reasonable compensation for diagnostic work, as well as parts, repair service and labor under the warranty or maintenance plan, extended warranty, certified preowned warranty or a service contract, issued by the manufacturer or distributor or its common entity. Time allowances for the diagnosis and performance of warranty work and service shall be reasonable and adequate for the work to be performed. In no event shall any manufacturer, component manufacturer, or distributor pay its dealers an amount of money for warranty work that is less than that charged by the dealer to the retail customers of the dealer for non-warranty work of like kind. In accordance with RSA 382-A:2-329, the manufacturer shall reimburse the franchisee for any parts so provided at the retail rate customarily charged by that franchisee for the same parts when not provided in satisfaction of a warranty and computed under this subparagraph. No claim which has been approved and paid by the manufacturer or distributor may be charged back to the dealer unless it can be shown that the claim was false or fraudulent, that the repairs were not properly made or were unnecessary to correct the defective condition, or that the dealer failed to reasonably substantiate that the claim was in accordance with the written requirements of the manufacturer or distributor in effect at the time the claim arose. A manufacturer or distributor shall not deny a claim solely based on a dealer’s incidental failure to comply with a specific claim processing requirement, or a clerical error, or other administrative technicality.
(A) The obligations imposed on motor vehicle franchisors by this section shall apply to any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or agent of the motor vehicle franchisor if a warranty or service or repair plan is issued by that person instead of or in addition to one issued by the motor vehicle franchisor.
(B)(i) In determining the rate and price customarily charged by the motor vehicle dealer to the public for parts, the compensation may be an agreed percentage markup over the dealer’s cost underwriting separate and distinct from the franchise agreement signed after the dealer’s request, but if an agreement is not reached within 30 days after a dealer’s written request to be compensated under this section, compensation for parts shall be calculated by utilizing the method described in this paragraph.
(ii) If the dealer and the manufacturer are unable to agree to a percentage markup as provided by subparagraph (i), the retail rate customarily charged by the dealer for parts that the manufacturer is obligated to pay pursuant to RSA 382-A:2-329, shall be established by the dealer submitting to the manufacturer or distributor 100 sequential non-warranty or customer-paid service repair orders or 90 consecutive days of non warranty, customer-paid service repair orders, whichever is less, each of which includes parts that would normally be used in-warranty repairs and covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, covering repairs made not more than 180 days before the submission and declaring the average percentage markup. The retail rate so declared must be reasonable as compared to other same line-make dealers of similar size in the immediate geographic vicinity of the dealer or, if none exist, immediately outside the dealer’s geographic relevant market area within this state. The declared retail rate shall go into effect 30 days following the date on which the dealer submitted to the manufacturer or distributor the required number of non-warranty or customer-paid service repair orders (hereafter referred to as the “submission date”) subject to an audit of the submitted non-warranty or customer-paid service repair orders by the manufacturer or distributor and a rebuttal of the declared retail rate. If the manufacturer or distributor wishes to rebut the declared retail rate it must so inform the dealer not later than 30 days after the submission date and propose an adjustment of the average percentage markup based on the rebuttal not later than 60 days after the submission date. If the dealer does not agree with the proposed average percentage markup, the dealer may file a protest at the motor vehicle industry board not later than 90 days after the submission date. In the event a protest is filed, the manufacturer has the burden of proof to establish that the dealer’s submission is unreasonable as compared to other same line-make dealers of similar size in the immediate geographic vicinity of the dealer or, if none exist, immediately outside the dealer’s geographic relevant market area within this state. In the event a dealer prevails in a protest filed under this provision, the dealer’s increased parts and/or labor reimbursement shall be provided retroactively to the date the submission would have been effective pursuant to the terms of this section but for the manufacturer’s denial.
(iii) In calculating the retail rate customarily charged by the dealer for parts, the following work shall not be included in the calculation: routine maintenance not covered under any retail customer warranty, such as fluids, filters, and belts not provided in the course of repairs; items that do not have an individual part number such as some nuts, bolts, fasteners, and similar items; tires; vehicle reconditioning; parts covered by subparagraph (v); repairs for manufacturer special events and manufacturer discounted service campaigns; parts sold at wholesale or parts used in repairs of government agencies’ repairs for which volume discounts have been negotiated by the manufacturer; promotional discounts on behalf of the manufacturer, internal billings, regardless of whether the billing is on an in-stock vehicle; and goodwill or policy adjustments.
(iv) A manufacturer or distributor shall not require a dealer to establish the retail rate customarily charged by the dealer for parts and labor by an unduly burdensome or time-consuming method or by requiring information that is unduly burdensome or time-consuming to provide including, but not limited to, part-by-part or transaction-by-transaction calculations. A dealer shall not declare an average percentage markup or average labor rate more than once in a calendar year. A manufacturer or distributor may perform annual audits to verify that a dealer’s effective rates have not decreased and if they have may reduce the warranty reimbursement rate prospectively. Such audits shall not be performed more than once per calendar year at any dealer. The audit performed by the manufacturer shall be in accordance with the method to calculate the retail rate customarily charged by the dealer for parts as set out in subparagraph (ii) above and subject to the limitations in subparagraph (iii). If the dealer does not agree with the proposed average percentage markup, the dealer may file a protest at the motor vehicle industry board not later than 90 days after the manufacturer states the intended new retail rate as the result of the manufacturer’s audit. In the event a protest is filed, the manufacturer has the burden of proof to establish that the proposed retail rate was calculated accurately and in accordance with this subparagraph. The proposed retail rate shall not be effective until the motor vehicle industry board issues a final order approving the proposed rate. If as the result of the audit performed in accordance with subparagraph (ii) the calculation shows that the dealer’s average percentage markup is greater than the average percentage markup currently being used for the dealer’s retail rate reimbursement, the dealer’s average percentage markup shall be increased to the extent of the result of the audit. Any rate that is adjusted as a result of an audit performed in accordance with this subparagraph shall not be adjusted again until a period of 6 months from the effective date of the change has lapsed.
(v) If a motor vehicle franchisor or component manufacturer supplies a part or parts for use in a repair rendered under a warranty other than by sale of that part or parts to the motor vehicle franchisee, the motor vehicle franchisee shall be entitled to compensation equivalent to the motor vehicle franchisee’s average percentage markup on the part or parts, as if the part or parts had been sold to the motor vehicle franchisee by the motor vehicle franchisor.
(1) The requirements of this subparagraph shall not apply to entire engine assemblies, entire transmission assemblies, in-floor heating systems, and rear-drive axles (“assemblies”). In the case of assemblies, the motor vehicle franchisor shall reimburse the motor vehicle franchisee in the amount of 30 percent of what the motor vehicle franchisee would have paid the motor vehicle franchisor for the assembly if the assembly had not been supplied by the franchisor other than by the sale of that assembly to the motor vehicle franchisee.
(2) The requirements of this subparagraph shall not apply to household appliances, furnishings, and generators of a motor home (“household items”). In the case of household items valued under $600, the motor vehicle franchisor shall reimburse the motor vehicle franchisee in the amount of 30 percent of what the motor vehicle franchisee would have paid the motor vehicle franchisor for the household item if the household item had not been supplied by the franchisor other than by the sale of that assembly to the motor vehicle franchisee. For household items in excess of $600, the markup would be capped as if the part were $600. The motor vehicle franchisor shall also reimburse the franchisee for any freight costs incurred to return the removed parts.
(vi) A manufacturer or distributor may not otherwise recover its costs for reimbursing a franchisee for parts and labor pursuant to this section.
(2) In no event shall a manufacturer or component manufacturer fail to pay a dealer reasonable compensation for parts or components, including assemblies, used in warranty or recall repairs.
(3) The wholesale price on which a dealer’s markup reimbursement is based for any parts used in a recall, service campaign, or other similar programs, shall not be less than the highest wholesale price listed in the manufacturer’s or distributor’s wholesale price catalog within 6 months prior to the start of the recall, service campaign, or other similar programs. If the manufacturer or distributor does not have a wholesale price catalog, or if the part is not listed in a wholesale price catalog, the wholesale price on which a dealer’s markup reimbursement is based in a recall, service campaign, or other similar programs shall be the average price charged to dealers of the similar line makes in the state for the part during 6 months prior to the start of the recall, service campaign, or other similar programs. In no event shall a dealer receive less than the dealer’s actual cost for that part, plus the markup as calculated pursuant to this subparagraph.
(c) No new motor vehicle manufacturer shall fail to perform any warranty obligations, including tires, whether or not such tires placed on the new motor vehicle by the manufacturer are excluded under the motor vehicle manufacturer’s warranty; fail to include in written notices of factory recalls to new motor vehicle owners and dealers the expected date by which necessary parts and equipment will be available to dealers for the correction of such defects, or fail to compensate any of the new motor vehicle dealers in this state for repairs effected by such recall. (d)(1) All claims made by new motor vehicle dealers pursuant to this section for labor and parts shall be paid within 30 days following their approval. All such claims shall be either approved and paid or disapproved within 30 days after their receipt, and any claim not specifically disapproved in writing within such period shall be deemed approved. Notice of rejection of any claim shall be accompanied by a specific statement of the grounds on which the rejection is based.
(2) A manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division shall retain the right to audit warranty claims for a period of 9 months after the date on which the claim is paid and chargeback any amounts paid on claims that are false or unsubstantiated.
(3) A manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division shall retain the right to audit all incentive and reimbursement programs for a period of 9 months after the date on which the claim is paid or 9 months from the end of a program that does not exceed one year, whichever is later, and chargeback any amounts paid on claims that are false or unsubstantiated.
(4) Any new motor vehicle dealer who is audited by a manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division shall have the right to be present or represented by counsel or other designated representative.
(5) Any chargeback resulting from any audit shall not be made until a final order is issued by the New Hampshire motor vehicle industry board if a protest to the proposed chargeback is filed within 30 days of the notification of the final amount claimed by the manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division to be due after exhausting any procedure established by the manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division to contest the chargeback, other than arbitration. If the chargeback is affirmed by a final order of the board, the dealer shall be liable for interest on the amount set forth in the order at a rate of the prime rate effective on the date of the order plus one percent per annum from the date of the filing of the protest. In the absence of fraud, the board may order, based on the equities and circumstances of the parties, that the chargeback plus applicable interest be paid in installments not exceeding 12 months. If the board finds that a warranty chargeback is the result of a fraudulent warranty claim, no installment payments shall be allowed by the board.
(6) A manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division shall retain the right to chargeback a fraudulent warranty claim, subject to any limitation period established in the franchise agreement but in no event longer than the limitation period provided in RSA 508:4, I. The applicable limitation period shall commence on the date a fraudulent warranty claim is paid.
(7) If the franchise agreement between a manufacturer, distributor, branch or division is terminated for any reason, any audit pursuant to this section shall be completed no later than30 days after the effective date of the termination.
(8) Notwithstanding the terms of any franchise or agreement, a manufacturer, distributor, branch, or division shall not take or threaten to take any adverse action against a motor vehicle dealer, including chargebacks, reducing vehicle allocations, or terminating or threatening to terminate a franchise or agreement because the dealer sold or leased a motor vehicle to a customer who exported the vehicle to a foreign country unless the motor vehicle dealer knew or reasonably should have known that the customer intended to export the vehicle. There shall be a presumption that the motor vehicle dealer did not know or could not have reasonably known if the vehicle is titled or registered in any state in this country.
(e) The franchisor shall not in any way restrict the nature or extent of services to be rendered or parts to be provided so that such restriction prevents the franchisee from satisfying a warranty in a workmanlike manner with all required or necessary parts.
III. (a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions, or conditions of any agreement or franchise, a new motor vehicle dealer shall be solely liable for damages to new motor vehicles after acceptance from the carrier and before delivery to the ultimate purchaser.
(b) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions, or conditions of any agreement or franchise, a manufacturer shall be liable for all damages to motor vehicles before delivery to a carrier or transporter.
(c) A new motor vehicle dealer shall be liable for damages to new motor vehicles after delivery to the carrier only if the dealer selects the method of transportation, mode of transportation, and the carrier; in all other instances, the manufacturer shall be liable for carrier-related new motor vehicle damage.
(d) On any new motor vehicle, any uncorrected damage or any corrected damage exceeding 6 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, as defined in 15 U.S.C.A. sections 1231-33, as measured by retail repair costs, shall be disclosed in writing by the manufacturer or distributor to the dealer and shall be disclosed in writing by the dealer to the ultimate purchaser prior to delivery. Damage to glass, tires, and bumpers shall be excluded from the calculation required in this subparagraph when replaced by identical manufacturer’s original equipment.
(e) Repaired damage to a customer-ordered new motor vehicle less than the amount requiring
disclosure in subparagraph (d) shall not constitute grounds for revocation of the customer order. The customer’s right of revocation shall cease upon his acceptance of delivery of the vehicle, provided disclosure is made prior to delivery.
(f) If damage to a vehicle exceeds the amount requiring disclosure in subparagraph (d) at either the time the new motor vehicle is accepted by the new motor vehicle dealer or whenever the risk of loss is shifted to the dealer, whichever occurs first, then the dealer may reject the vehicle within a reasonable time.
(g) If a new motor vehicle dealer determines the method of transportation, as defined in subparagraph (c), then the risk of loss during transit shall pass to the dealer upon delivery of the vehicle to the carrier. In every other instance, the risk of loss shall remain with the manufacturer until such time as the new motor vehicle dealer accepts the vehicle from the carrier.
IV. (a) A franchisor shall indemnify its franchisees from any and all reasonable claims, losses, damages, and costs, including attorney’s fees resulting from or related to complaints, claims or suits against the franchisee by third parties, including but not limited to those based upon strict liability, negligence, misrepresentation, warranty and revocation of acceptance or rescission, where an action alleges fault due to: (1) the manufacture, assembly, or design of the vehicle, parts, or accessories, or the selection or combination of parts or components; (2) service systems, procedures or methods required, recommended or suggested to the franchisee by the franchisor; or (3) damage to the vehicle in transit to the franchisee where the carrier is designated by the manufacturer.
(b) The franchisor shall not be liable to the franchisee by virtue of this section for any claims, losses, costs or damages arising as a result of negligence or willful malfeasance by the franchisee in its performance of delivery, preparation, or warranty obligations required by the franchisor, or other services performed; provided, however, that the franchisor shall be liable for damages arising from or in connection with any services rendered by a franchisee in accordance with any service, system, procedure or method suggested or required by the franchisor.
(c) In any action where there are both allegations for which the franchisor is required to indemnify the franchisee and claims of negligence in the performance of services by the franchisee, the percentage of fault of each shall be determined and the franchisor’s duty to indemnify the franchisee against all damages and expenses, including attorney’s fees, shall be limited to that percentage of fault found to be of the type set forth in subparagraph(a).
Source. 1981, 477:2. 1987, 159:1. 1990, 84:3. 1996, 263:3. 2000, 261:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2001. 2009,
20:5-7, eff. May 6, 2009. 2013, 130:12, 13, eff. Sept. 23, 2013.