Ford, which already got pushback from dealers about its electric-vehicle dealer certification requirements, is now facing formal complaints by dealers in several states, Automotive News reported.
Dealers in Arkansas, Illinois and New York are challenging the automaker over the rules, which is requiring its more than 3,000 dealers to be in one of two tiers of EV offerings.
The dealers say Ford’s EV program violates franchise laws, the publication said.
Arkansas’ dealers association was the first to take action when it filed a complaint against Ford through the state motor vehicle commission in October. Then 27 dealerships in Illinois filed a similar complaint with that state’s commission last week, and four New York dealers filed a lawsuit against Ford several days earlier.
Dealer associations had already complained to Ford about the rules, which require dealers to invest in dealership training and upgrades costing as much as $1.2 million each and to introduce new sales standards that include non-negotiable sticker prices.
Automotive News reported that the lawsuit in New York could result in an automatic stay of Ford’s dealer certification program as a judge considers the matter. The suit claims the requirement that dealers invest in one of the certification tiers in order to sell EVs is unlawful. The publication said Ford said the program is “consistent with all relevant laws.”