2013 Maryland Code
§ 15-212 - Refusal, suspension, or revocation of license; other administrative sanctions
(a) In this section, “motor home” means a motor vehicle that:
(1) Is designed to provide temporary living quarters, built into as an integral part of, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis or van; and
(2) Contains permanently installed independent life support systems which provide at least four of the following facilities:
(ii) Refrigeration or ice box;
(iii) Self-contained toilet;
(iv) Heating, air-conditioning, or both;
(v) A potable water supply system including a faucet and sink;
(vi) Separate 110-125 volt electrical power supply; or
(vii) An LP gas supply.
(b) In addition to the other grounds specified in Subtitle 1 of this title for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license, the Administration may refuse to grant a license under this subtitle to any person and may suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the license of any person if it finds that the person has:
(1) Made any material misrepresentation in transferring a vehicle or truck component part to a dealer or distributor;
(2) Failed to comply with any written warranty agreement; or
(3) Failed to reasonably compensate any franchised dealer who does work under:
(i) The vehicle preparation and delivery obligations of the dealer; or
(ii) Any outstanding express or implied new vehicle or truck component parts warranty.
(c) (1) The following factors, as they exist in the city or community in which the dealer is doing business, shall be included among those considered in determining under subsection (b)(3) of this section whether a dealer has been reasonably compensated:
(i) The compensation being paid by other licensees to their dealers;
(ii) The prevailing wage rate being paid by these dealers; and
(iii) The prevailing labor rate being charged by these dealers.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection and except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, a licensee may not compensate its dealers for work performed under any warranty under subsection (b)(3)(ii) of this section in an amount that is less than the average amount charged by the dealer to retail customers for nonwarranty work of like kind during the preceding 12 months as long as this amount is reasonable.
(3) The provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection do not apply to travel trailers or parts of systems, fixtures, appliances, furnishings, accessories, and features of motor homes that are not manufactured by the manufacturer of the motor home as a part of the unit.
(4) (i) A claim filed under this section by a dealer with a manufacturer or distributor shall be:
1. In the manner and form prescribed by the manufacturer or distributor; and
2. Approved or disapproved within 30 days of receipt.
(ii) A claim not approved or disapproved within 30 days of receipt shall be deemed approved.
(iii) Payment of or credit issued on a claim filed under this section shall be made within 30 days of approval.
(5) A dealer’s failure to comply with the specific requirements of the manufacturer or distributor for processing a claim may not constitute grounds for denial of the claim or reduction of the amount of compensation paid to the dealer if the dealer presents reasonable documentation or other evidence to substantiate the claim.
(6) (i) If a claim filed under this section is shown by the manufacturer or distributor to be false or unsubstantiated, the manufacturer or distributor may charge back the claim within 9 months from the date the claim was paid or credit issued.
(ii) This paragraph does not limit the right of a manufacturer or distributor to:
1. Conduct an audit of any claim filed under this section; or
2. Charge back for any claim that is proven to be fraudulent.
(iii) An audit under this paragraph shall be conducted according to generally accepted accounting principles.
(d) As to any person licensed under this subtitle, instead of or in addition to revocation, suspension, or nonrenewal of a license under this section, the Administrator:
(1) May order the licensee to pay a fine not exceeding $50,000 for each violation of this subtitle; and
(2) May order the licensee to compensate any person for financial injury or other damage suffered as a result of the violation.
§ 15-212 - 1. Compensation of dealer for incentive or reimbursement programs
(a) In general. -- Upon the filing of a claim, a manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor shall compensate a dealer for any incentive or reimbursement program sponsored by the manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor, under the terms of which the dealer is eligible for compensation.
(b) Claims. --
(1) A claim filed under this section shall be:
(i) In the manner and form prescribed by the manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor; and
(ii) Approved or disapproved within 30 days of receipt.
(2) A claim not approved or disapproved within 30 days of receipt shall be deemed approved.
(3) Payment of a claim filed under this section shall be made within 30 days of approval.
(c) False or unsubstantiated claims. --
(1) If a claim filed under this section is shown by the manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor to be false or unsubstantiated, the manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor may charge back the claim within 6 months from the payment of the incentive or reimbursement.
(2) This paragraph does not limit the right of a manufacturer, factory branch, or distributor to:
(i) Conduct an audit of any claim filed under this section; or
(ii) Charge back for any claim that is proven to be fraudulent.
(3) An audit under this paragraph shall be conducted according to generally accepted accounting principles.
(d) Payment or reimbursement from dealer for vehicle exported or resold. -- A manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch may not refuse to pay, or claim reimbursement from, a dealer for sales, incentives, or payments related to a motor vehicle sold by the dealer because the purchaser of the motor vehicle exported or resold the motor vehicle in violation of the policy of the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch unless the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch can show that, at the time of sale, the dealer knew or should have known of the purchaser's intention to export or resell the motor vehicle.
(e) Application to payments, etc., after May 1, 2009. --
(1) This subsection applies only to an incentive payment, a reimbursement payment, cash, a gift, or a thing of value earned by an employee of a dealer on or after May 1, 2009.
(2) (i) An incentive payment, a reimbursement payment, cash, a gift, or a thing of value to be given by a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch to an employee of a dealer may be given:
1. Directly to the employee; or
2. To the dealer to be distributed to the employee.
(ii) An incentive payment, a reimbursement payment, or cash given to a dealer for distribution to an employee under this paragraph shall be distributed to the employee as part of the payroll process after the appropriate payroll deductions have been made by the dealer.
(3) A manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch shall make information available to a dealer about any incentive payment, reimbursement payment, cash, gift, or thing of value totaling more than $ 200 in a calendar year that is given directly to an employee of the dealer.
§ 15-212 - 2. Termination of dealership; payments and reimbursements
(a) Dealer franchise. -- If a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch terminates, suspends, refuses to renew, or closes a dealer's franchise or refuses to supply new vehicles to a dealer who holds a franchise, the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch shall:
(1) Reimburse the dealer for any costs the dealer incurred for facility upgrades or alterations required by the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch within the previous 2 years;
(2) Pay the dealer at least the dealer cost, plus any charges by the franchisor, distributor, or factory branch, for distribution, delivery, and taxes paid by the dealer, less all allowances paid to the dealer by the franchisor for any new, undamaged motor vehicles purchased within 18 months of the date of the termination, suspension, refusal to renew, closure, or refusal to supply, whether acquired from the franchisor or from another dealer of the same line make in the ordinary course of business;
(3) Pay the dealer at least the dealer acquisition cost of each new, unused, undamaged, and unsold part or accessory if the part or accessory is in the current parts catalog and is:
(i) Still in the original, resalable merchandising package and in unbroken lots; or
(ii) In the case of sheet metal, in the original packaging or a comparable substitute for the original packaging;
(4) Pay the dealer at least the fair market value of each undamaged sign owned by the dealer that bears a trademark, trade name, or commercial symbol used or claimed by the franchisor if the sign was purchased from or at the request of the franchisor;
(5) Pay the dealer at least the fair market value of all special tools and automotive service equipment owned by the dealer that were recommended and designated as special tools or equipment by the franchisor, if the tools and equipment are in useable and good condition except for normal wear and tear; and
(6) Pay the dealer at least the reasonable cost of transporting, handling, packing, and loading motor vehicle parts, signs, tools, and special equipment subject to repurchase under this section.
(b) Motor home dealer. --
(1) If a manufacturer of motor homes terminates or cancels a motor home dealer, the manufacturer shall reimburse the dealer, less any allowances, discounts, or rebates paid to the dealer by the manufacturer, for at least:
(i) The total net inventory invoice costs;
(ii) Any charges by the manufacturer for distribution delivery; and
(iii) Any inventory related taxes paid by the dealer.
(2) This subsection only applies to motor homes in inventory that:
(i) Are new and untitled;
(ii) Were acquired from the manufacturer within 18 months before the effective date of the notice of termination or cancellation;
(iii) Have not been used, other than for demonstration purposes; and
(iv) Have not been altered or damaged.
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