California governor signs SxS franchise reform bill

Publish Date: 
Aug 29, 2014

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Side-by-side dealers in California now receive the same protections motorcycle and ATV dealers do, thanks to new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"This law will bring Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles, as they are officially known in California, or 'side-by-sides,' as they are commonly known, under the jurisdiction of the California New Motor Vehicle Board for franchise law disputes that they are empowered to consider," the California Motorcycle Dealers Association announced.

“The passage and signing of AB 988 into law levels the uneven playing field between dealers and manufacturers when it comes to side-by-side franchise disputes, such as an OEM locating a like-brand dealership within 10 miles of an existing dealer" said CMDA Executive Director John Paliwoda. CMDA sponsored the legislation introduced by Assemblyman Brian Jones.

Until 2012, ROVs were considered all-terrain vehicles for registration and enforcement purposes. "Even though they grew directly from an all-terrain vehicle base, it was necessary to give them their own [DMV] definition and category," CMDA noted. AB 988 amends Sections 111, 3001 and 3003 of the California Vehicle Code.

“These days, California motorcycle and motorsport dealers need all the help they can get, still trying to recover from the deleterious effects of the Great Recession," Paliwoda said. "AB 988 will help by adding another product that dealers sell to the franchise protections that California law already affords them.”
From a press release