2013 Florida Statutes
681.108 Dispute-settlement procedures.—
(1) If a manufacturer has established a procedure that the department has certified as substantially complying with the provisions of 16 C.F.R. part 703, in effect October 1, 1983, as amended, and with the provisions of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, and has informed the consumer how and where to file a claim with such procedure pursuant to s. 681.103(3), the provisions of s. 681.104(2) apply to the consumer only if the consumer has first resorted to such procedure. The decisionmakers for a certified procedure shall, in rendering decisions, take into account all legal and equitable factors germane to a fair and just decision, including, but not limited to, the warranty; the rights and remedies conferred under 16 C.F.R. part 703, in effect October 1, 1983, as amended; the provisions of this chapter; and any other equitable considerations appropriate under the circumstances. Decisionmakers and staff for a procedure shall be trained in the provisions of this chapter and in 16 C.F.R. part 703, in effect October 1, 1983, as amended. In an action brought by a consumer concerning an alleged nonconformity, the decision that results from a certified procedure is admissible in evidence.
(2) A manufacturer may apply to the department for certification of its procedure. After receipt and evaluation of the application, the department shall:
(a) Notify the manufacturer of any deficiencies in the application or the procedure;
(b) Certify the procedure as substantially complying with the provisions of 16 C.F.R. part 703, in effect October 1, 1983, as amended, and with the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter, for a period not to exceed 1 year; or
(c) Deny certification, stating the reasons for such denial.
(3) A certified procedure or a procedure of an applicant seeking certification shall submit to the department a copy of each settlement approved by the procedure or decision made by a decisionmaker within 30 days after the settlement is reached or the decision is rendered. The decision or settlement must contain at a minimum the:
(a) Name and address of the consumer;
(b) Name of the manufacturer and address of the dealership from which the motor vehicle was purchased;
(c) Date the claim was received and the location of the procedure office that handled the claim;
(d) Relief requested by the consumer;
(e) Name of each decisionmaker rendering the decision or person approving the settlement;
(f) Statement of the terms of the settlement or decision;
(g) Date of the settlement or decision; and
(h) Statement of whether the decision was accepted or rejected by the consumer.
(4) Any manufacturer establishing or applying to establish a certified procedure must file with the department a copy of the annual audit required under the provisions of 16 C.F.R. part 703, in effect October 1, 1983, as amended, together with any additional information required for purposes of certification, including the number of refunds and replacements made in this state pursuant to the provisions of this chapter by the manufacturer during the period audited.
(5) The department shall review each certified procedure at least annually to determine if certification should be renewed. A manufacturer seeking renewal of certification shall notify the department in writing at least 60 days before the end of the 1-year certification period. Upon review, the department shall:
(a) Renew certification for a period not to exceed 1 year if the procedure is found to substantially comply with the provisions of 16 C.F.R. part 703, in effect October 1, 1983, as amended, and with the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter;
(b) Notify the manufacturer of any deficiencies in the procedure; or
(c) Decline to renew certification. If certification is declined, the department shall state the reasons for such action.
(6) If a manufacturer ceases operation of a certified procedure, the manufacturer shall notify the department immediately in writing, and upon receipt of such notification, the department shall revoke certification for that procedure, effective the date the certified procedure ceased.
(7) A manufacturer whose certification is declined is entitled to a hearing pursuant to chapter 120.
(8) If federal preemption of state authority to regulate procedures occurs, the provisions of subsection (1) concerning prior resort do not apply.
(9) The department may adopt rules to administer this section.
History.—s. 7, ch. 83-69; s. 4, ch. 84-55; s. 5, ch. 85-240; ss. 5, 19, ch. 88-95; s. 17, ch. 91-110; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 92-88; s. 19, ch. 2011-56; s. 29, ch. 2011-205; s. 81, ch. 2012-5; s. 6, ch. 2013-207.