V C Section 3070 Termination of Franchise

Termination of Franchise

3070.  (a) Notwithstanding Section 20999.1 of the Business and Professions Code or the terms of any franchise, a franchisor of a dealer of new recreational vehicles, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 18010 of the Health and Safety Code, except a dealer who deals exclusively in truck campers, may not terminate or refuse to continue a franchise unless all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The franchisee and the board have received written notice from the franchisor as follows:

(A) Sixty days before the effective date thereof setting forth the specific grounds for termination or refusal to continue.

(B) Fifteen days before the effective date thereof setting forth the specific grounds with respect to any of the following:

(i) Transfer of any ownership or interest in the franchise without the consent of the franchisor, which consent may not be unreasonably withheld.

(ii) Misrepresentation by the franchisee in applying for the franchise.

(iii) Insolvency of the franchisee, or filing of any petition by or against the franchisee under any bankruptcy or receivership law.

(iv) Any unfair business practice after written warning thereof.

(v) Failure of the dealer to conduct its customary sales and service operations during its customary hours of business for seven consecutive business days, giving rise to a good faith belief on the part of the franchisor that the recreational vehicle dealer is in fact going out of business, except for circumstances beyond the direct control of the recreational vehicle dealer or by order of the department.

(C) The written notice shall contain, on the first page thereof in at least 12-point bold type and circumscribed by a line to segregate it from the rest of the text, one of the following statements, whichever is applicable:

(i) To be inserted when a 60-day notice of termination is given:

"NOTICE TO DEALER: You have the right to file a protest with the NEW MOTOR VEHICLE BOARD in Sacramento and have a hearing in which you may protest the termination of your franchise under provisions of the California Vehicle Code. You must file your protest with the board within 30 calendar days after receiving this notice or within 30 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the franchisor or your protest right will be waived."

(ii) To be inserted when a 15-day notice of termination is given:

"NOTICE TO DEALER: You have the right to file a protest with the NEW MOTOR VEHICLE BOARD in Sacramento and have a hearing in which you may protest the termination of your franchise under provisions of the California Vehicle Code. You must file your protest with the board within 10 calendar days after receiving this notice or within 10 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the franchisor or your protest right will be waived."

(2) Except as provided in Section 3050.7, the board finds that there is good cause for termination or refusal to continue, following a hearing called pursuant to Section 3066. The franchisee may file a protest with the board within 30 days after receiving a 60-day notice, satisfying the requirements of this section, or within 30 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the franchisor, or within 10 days after receiving a 15-day notice, satisfying the requirements of this section, or within 10 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the franchisor. When a protest is filed, the board shall advise the franchisor that a timely protest has been filed, that a hearing is required pursuant to Section 3066, and that the franchisor may not terminate or refuse to continue until the board makes its findings.

(3) The franchisor has received the written consent of the franchisee, or the appropriate period for filing a protest has elapsed.

(b) (1) Notwithstanding Section 20999.1 of the Business and Professions Code or the terms of any franchise, a franchisor of a dealer of recreational vehicles may not modify or replace a franchise with a succeeding franchise if the modification or replacement would substantially affect the franchisee's sales or service obligations or investment, unless the franchisor has first given the board and each affected franchisee written notice thereof at least 60 days in advance of the modification or replacement. Within 30 days of receipt of a notice satisfying the requirements of this section, or within 30 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the franchisor, a franchisee may file a protest with the board and the modification or replacement does not become effective until there is a finding by the board that there is good cause for the modification or replacement. If, however, a replacement franchise is the successor franchise to an expiring or expired term franchise, the prior franchise shall continue in effect until resolution of the protest by the board. In the event of multiple protests, hearings shall be consolidated to expedite the disposition of the issue.

(2) The written notice shall contain, on the first page thereof in at least 12-point bold type and circumscribed by a line to segregate it from the rest of the text, the following statement:

"NOTICE TO DEALER: Your franchise agreement is being modified or replaced. If the modification or replacement will substantially affect your sales or service obligations or investment, you have the right to file a protest with the NEW MOTOR VEHICLE BOARD in Sacramento and have a hearing in which you may protest the proposed modification or replacement of your franchise under provisions of the California Vehicle Code. You must file your protest with the board within 30 calendar days of your receipt of this notice or within 30 days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the franchiser or your protest rights will be waived."

 

Added Sec. 11, Ch. 703, Stats. 2003. Effective January 1, 2004.