GM customers can still receive free help from BBB to resolve disputes over their auto warranty
Arlington, VA – June 2, 2009 - The U.S. Court overseeing General Motor’s bankruptcy has approved GM’s request to continue honoring vehicle warranties, including GM’s participation in the BBB AUTO LINE program for consumers that need help with any warranty-related dispute with the manufacturer.
BBB AUTO LINE is the world’s largest out-of-court warranty dispute resolution program and has been administered for the past 30 years by the U.S. Better Business Bureau system for GM and most other major brands. BBB offers its BBB AUTO LINE service to consumers as an informal way to resolve any warranty disputes they might have regarding reoccurring problems with a vehicle that they believe may be a “lemon.”
“Both GM and the Court understand that it is absolutely necessary to honor warranties and this decision benefits consumers by ensuring they will continue to have a free and easy way to resolve warranty disputes with the assistance of BBB AUTO LINE,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. “Since 2001 alone, BBB has helped consumers with more than a quarter million cases involving the 35 manufacturer brands participating in the BBB AUTO LINE program.”
BBB AUTO LINE follows Federal Trade Commission rules and applicable state lemon law procedures. Most eligible cases are resolved by a mediated settlement. For cases that go to arbitration, decisions are made by BBB’s professional, volunteer arbitrators. Essentially, consumers may accept or reject the arbitrator’s decision, but the decision is binding on the manufacturer if accepted by the consumer. If the consumer does not accept the decision, the consumer is free to pursue any other remedies available under law.
The program’s activities are transparent, with audit reports filed annually with the Federal Trade Commission. And according to the most recent audit of the program, 79 percent of participants would recommend the BBB AUTO LINE program to their friends and family who were experiencing automotive problems.
Twenty-seven of the world’s largest auto brands—including GM makes—participate in BBB AUTO LINE for disputes arising throughout the country. An additional eight manufacturer brands participate in some, but not all states. A complete list of participating BBB AUTO LINE manufacturers is available at the BBB Web site (www.bbb.org). Full information about BBB AUTO LINE is also available online, including program rules (in English and Spanish) and an easy to use online complaint form.
BBB AUTO LINE is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia. Mediation centers are located in Arlington, California and Florida and arbitration case hearings are available through more than 116 BBB offices and branches in every major market in the U.S. and its territories.
BBB, the leader in advancing marketplace trust, is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than four million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org or more information about BBB.