Governor Bill Richardson has mandated the adoption of the California Clean Car standards. The New Mexico Department of the Environment has proposed standards that, if passed, would implement the California vehicle emission standards – including the super warranty. The proposal directs the state to implement global warming and smog-forming emissions standards for vehicles. Additionally, the bill would impose the expansion and extension of warranties. (See www.autobodynews.com ).
“Greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks are expected to grow faster than any other sector in New Mexico,” said Governor Richardson. “That is why New Mexico will adopt motor vehicle standards like California’s by the end of the year.”
“Adopting these clean tailpipe standards in New Mexico would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new vehicles about 30 percent over the next eight years. We know that these standards can be met using existing “off-the-shelf” technology at no additional long-term cost to consumers.”
The governor’s initiative was adopted unanimously by the New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group as the adoption of the California Clean Car Standard was determined to be the most cost effective of its recommendations.
Consider the negative impacts
In spite of the governor’s mandate, Jerry Burns, owner of Automotive Impressions in Rio Rancho, NM, and member of the national board of directors of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), testified against the regulations during a recent hearing.
Burns expressed concern on behalf of ASA and its New Mexico members over the proposed expanded super warranty provisions included in the California clean car program now being considered by the board. He proposed that the super warranty is the greatest long-term threat to the repair industry, also impacting both parts distributors and parts manufacturers.
Burns stated before the board, “For independent repairers, we lose not only those vehicle repairs that are covered by this proposed super warranty, we also lose the customer’s other repair items, possibly losing the customer permanently. Why would a vehicle owner bring a car to my shop for a specific non-warranty repair and take his or her car to a franchised new car dealer for an additional warranty repair? Two stops for a vehicle repair? I think not. I also have the potential to lose my customer for the foreseeable future. With the increasing pressure on US families for the use of their time, making two stops for vehicle repair won’t happen, no matter how loyal the vehicle owner is to my repair facility.”
ASA also expressed concern over potential damage to the New Mexico small business community. Burns said independent repairers in New Mexico perform approximately 75 percent of all non-warranty repairs. Allowing repairs to move only to franchised new car dealers for these super warranty repairs will arbitrarily limit the repair marketplace in New Mexico.
While ASA supports clean car programs that improve air quality, it believes they can exist and prosper in states without expanding or extending warranties at the expense of independent repair facilities. Burns urged the New Mexico Environment Department to consider the negative impacts of the super warranty and at a minimum, follow the Washington state model in adopting the clean car program while eliminating the super warranty provision.