Oklahoma House passes car dealership reform bill

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A bill promoted by automobile dealers who say overhaul and reform of the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission is long overdue was passed unanimously this week in the Oklahoma House.

Rep. Mike Dobrinski, a Republican from Okeene was the House Author and said it will not only modernize Oklahoma’s automobile franchise laws but will also best serve consumers, manufacturers and franchised auto dealers in Oklahoma.

Among other changes, this bill changes the name of the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission to the Oklahoma New Motor Vehicle Commission. The measure also addresses items such as contracts between dealers and manufacturers, protection of consumer data, dealer rights, sales standards and more.

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House Bill 2244 is a request from the Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association.

“This legislation will improve the relationship between Oklahoma’s legacy franchised auto dealers and manufacturers while continuing to bolster the strongest consumer protections in the nation,” Dobrinski said. “This is about 10 years overdue, and the changes are quite lengthy, but it is necessary to protect consumers, our auto dealers and manufacturers alike.”

Dobrinski said HB 2244 preserves the long-term viability of new car dealers and their nearly 30,000 direct and indirectly linked jobs. It also will bring Oklahoma more in line with other states that have modernized their auto dealer laws in recent years.

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Peter L. Hodges Sr., president of the Oklahoma Auto Dealers Association, thanked Dobrinski for his work on the bill.

“On behalf of the new auto dealers in Oklahoma, I would like to thank and extend our gratitude to Representative Mike Dobrinski for his patience and longanimity in seeing House Bill 2244 to unopposed passage in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

“I would also like to thank each of the members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for their support of Representative Dobrinski’s bill that will bring a much needed modernization to the law that governs the relationship between the new auto dealers and their auto manufacturers in our state.”

Kevin A. Grover, chair of the Oklahoma Auto Dealers Association expressed his appreciation as well.

“On behalf of the 270-plus dealers, the OADA is very excited that House Bill 2244 passed in the House 95-0. Representative Dobrinski was our champion on this bill for the second year in a row, and we are extremely grateful and appreciative of his perseverance, resilience and commitment to seeing this effort  get across this goal line.”

Dobrinski ran similar legislation last year, but it did not advance to the end of the legislative process. In the meantime, he continued working with dealers and manufacturers to achieve agreed-upon language in HB 2244.

Grover said, “This year’s bill better serves the dealers and manufacturers who worked together cohesively to accomplish each other’s goals.”

HB 2244 now moves to the state Senate where it is authored by Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah.

Source: press release