The California New Car Dealers Association has come out in opposition of the ‘CLEAN’ initiative General Motors announced this week.
Under the CLEAN initiative, GM dealers are being asked to follow CDC guidelines and to use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleansers when cleaning their facilities to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
But the CNCDA sent a letter to GM this week expressing concerns over the program, saying dealers may face legal consequences if they follow the CLEAN initative but COVID-19 is still found in their stores.
“While we admire GM’s efforts in lending assistance to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNCDA believes there are a number of reasons why the agreement should not be signed,” the association’s legal counsel said in the letter.
In response to the letter, GM said no dealer is required to adhere to the CLEAN initiative.
“This initiative simply encourages Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers to implement the guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” a GM spokeswoman told Automotive News. “GM believes that this initiative is consistent with its mission to put the customer at the center of everything we do. The initiative has also received tremendous support from GMs dealer body and councils. Nevertheless, each dealership is independently operated and no dealer is required to participate in the clean initiative, it is entirely voluntary.”
The CNCDA’s concern is hinged on the belief that advertising the ‘CLEAN’ initiative may lead customers to believe their dealerships are completely free from COVID-19, which may leave them liable if a customer contracts COVID-19 while visiting the retail location.
“The dealer would in effect be making representations about freedom from the virus on the dealership premises and in the vehicles, which could subject the dealer to liability for breaching those representations,” the CNDCA letter said.
According to AN, GM says it does not plan to use the ‘CLEAN’ branding in any customer-facing advertising. It’s not clear if any California dealers plans to adopt the initiative, though the automaker indicated its dealer body responded positively to the announcement this week.