At iFLEX, Government Affairs Take Stage
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 16, 2021—The opening education session on day two of iFLEX 2021 reviewed some of the big governmental affairs issues facing the quick lube industry.
AOCA policy director Joanna Johnson gave attendees a primer on the major enforcement legislation, including Right to Repair law that passed in Massachusetts and the rinesultg action by the Federal Trade Commission aimed a curbing dealer and OEM tactics that discourage independent servicers.
“You have incredible competition all of the time," Johnson said. "But unlike other segments of the industry, you also face anti-competitive behavior.”
Research and reporting from the AOCA led to the FTC's announcement that it would step up enforcement against deceptive tactics that might push consumers away from independent facilities.
Johnson also reviewed current research into Hyundai and Kia engines that are prone to rod bearing failures, as well as multiple cases of OEMs and dealers attempting to blame lube shops for failing to properly install drain plugs.
“They are problem engines. There is no exception," she said. "They all come down to this."
Johnson cautioned operators to be diligent if an OEM or dealer attempts to blame a lube shop for these kinds of failures. Be sure to get written documentation of the dealer's position, citing relevant technical service bulletins, and be sure to conduct your own inspection of the vehicle, in particular the drain plug.
“If you get a claim from the dealer the the plug is out, you’ve got to inspect it," she said. "Do not assume they are telling the truth.”