BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2006) — Aftermarket groups such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Automobile Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) are urging the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reconsider its proposal to extend the emissions warranty on a significant number of new vehicles.
The proposal would extend the warranty to 15 years or 150,000 miles from the current three years or 50,000 miles.
“Our members are very concerned that this regulatory proposal will increase the number of repairs removed from independent shops and sent to new car dealerships,” ASA Past Chairman Denny Kahler said at a hearing Dec. 7 in Bakersfield on the warranty proposal.
Under the CARB plan, all auto makers with more than a 4-percent rate of warranty returns on any emissions-related component must either conduct a recall or offer a 15-year, 150,000-mile warranty on those parts.
“Under this proposal, every manufacturer will choose to extend the warranty, since recalls are very expensive,” stated an AAIA position paper on the proposal. “And, with a warranty, they can count on only a small percentage of the targeted vehicles ever obtaining the necessary repairs.”
In 1998, CARB already mandated the 15/150 emissions warranty on partial zero-emission vehicles and has ever since ignored the aftermarket's entreaties that such warranties only hurt independent repair shops without improving vehicle durability, the AAIA said.
Both the ASA and the AAIA urged their members to contact CARB with their concerns about the 15/150 plan.