The warrantor's net worth, or the total of all outstanding ownership interests in the warrantor, is at least $50,000,000, or, if the warrantor is a subsidiary, the parent entity's net worth is at least $50,000,000. If the warrantor files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the warrantor provides the commissioner with a copy of the warrantor's, or the parent entity's, most recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission form 10-K or form 20-f, filed within the preceding year pursuant to 15 USC 78L
(b) or (g), 78m
, or 78o
(d). If the warrantor does not file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the warrantor provides the commissioner a copy of the warrantor's, or the parent entity's, audited financial statements. If the warrantor's parent entity's forms or audited financial statements are filed to meet the condition specified under this subsection, then the parent entity shall agree to guarantee the obligations of the warrantor relating to warranties issued by the warrantor in this state.
Every warranty shall be written in clear language that is understandable to lay persons and shall be printed or typed in easy-to-read size and style of type. No warranty may be included with a vehicle protection product unless it meets all of the following conditions:
If the warrantor chooses to meet its financial responsibility obligations under sub. (3) (a)
The warranty states that the obligations of the warrantor to the warranty holder are guaranteed under a warranty reimbursement insurance policy and states the name and address of the insurer.
The warranty states that if a warranty holder makes a claim against a party other than the issuer of the warranty reimbursement insurance policy, the warranty holder may make a direct claim against the insurer if the warrantor fails to pay any claim or to meet any obligation under the terms of the warranty within 60 days after proof of loss has been filed with the warrantor.
The warranty identifies the warrantor, the seller, and the warranty holder.
The warranty sets forth the total purchase price and the payment terms. The purchase price of the vehicle protection product does not have to be preprinted on the warranty or sales agreement. The purchase price may be negotiated with the purchaser at the time of sale.
The warranty sets forth the procedure for making a claim, including a telephone number.
The warranty states the existence of any deductible amount.
The warranty specifies the payments or performance to be provided under the warranty, including payments for incidental costs, how the payments or performance will be calculated or determined, and any limitations, exceptions, or exclusions.
The warranty sets forth the conditions under which substitution will be allowed.
The warranty states all of the obligations and duties of the warranty holder.
The warranty sets forth any terms governing transferability of the warranty.
The warranty contains a disclosure that reads substantially as follows: "This agreement is a product warranty and is not insurance."
The warranty clearly states any terms and conditions governing the cancellation of the sale and warranty.
The seller of the warranty or the warrantor shall provide one of the following to the purchaser:
At the time of sale, a receipt or other written evidence of the purchase of the vehicle protection product and, within 30 days after the purchase, a copy of the warranty.
A warrantor may cancel the warranty only if the warranty holder does one of the following:
Fails to pay for the vehicle protection product to which the warranty applies.
Makes a material misrepresentation to the seller of the vehicle protection product to which the warranty applies or to the warrantor.
Substantially breaches the warranty holder's duties under the warranty.
A warrantor canceling a warranty shall mail written notice of cancellation to the warranty holder at the last address of the warranty holder in the warrantor's records at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the cancellation. The notice shall state the effective date of the cancellation and the reason for the cancellation.
A warrantor that is not an insurer, as defined in s. 600.03 (27)
, may not use in its name, contracts, or literature any of the terms, "insurance," "casualty," "surety," "mutual," or any other words descriptive of the insurance, casualty, or surety business. A warrantor may not use any name or description that is deceptively similar to the name or description of any insurance or surety corporation or to any other warrantor.
No warrantor may make any warranty claim that is untrue, deceptive, or misleading as provided in s. 100.18
No person may require as a condition of sale or financing of a motor vehicle that a retail purchaser of a motor vehicle purchase a vehicle protection product that is not installed on the vehicle at the time of sale.
Warrantors shall keep accurate records of transactions regulated under this section.
A warrantor's records shall include all of the following:
Copies of all warranties under which the warrantor is obligated.
The name and address of each warranty holder to whom the warrantor is obligated.
The dates, amounts, and descriptions of all receipts, claims, and expenditures related to the warrantor's warranties.
A warrantor shall retain all required records pertaining to each warranty holder to whom the warrantor is obligated for at least 2 years after the specified period of coverage has expired. A warrantor discontinuing business in this state shall maintain its records until it furnishes the commissioner satisfactory proof that it has discharged all obligations to warranty holders in this state.
Warrantors shall make all records concerning transactions regulated under this section available to the commissioner.
The commissioner may take necessary and appropriate action to enforce this section and the commissioner's rules and orders and to protect warranty holders. If a warrantor violates this section and the commissioner reasonably believes the violation threatens to render the warrantor insolvent or cause irreparable loss or injury to the property or business of any person located in this state, the commissioner may issue an order that does any of the following:
Prohibits the warrantor from engaging in the act that violates this section.
Prohibits the warrantor from providing any warranty that violates this section.
Prior to the effective date of any order issued under par. (a)
, the commissioner must provide written notice of the order to the warrantor and the opportunity for a hearing to be held within 10 business days after receipt of the notice.
Notwithstanding subd. 1.
, if the commissioner reasonably believes that the warrantor is or is about to become insolvent, prior notice and a hearing are not required.
A person aggrieved by an order issued under par. (a)
may request a hearing before the commissioner. Section 601.62
applies to a hearing commenced under this paragraph.
At the hearing, the commissioner bears the burden of proving that the order issued under par. (a)
is justified. Chapter 227
applies to a hearing request under this subsection.
The commissioner may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction or other appropriate relief to enjoin a threatened or existing violation of this section or of a rule or order of the commissioner promulgated or issued under this section. An action filed under this paragraph may seek restitution on behalf of persons injured by a violation of this section or a violation of a rule or order of the commissioner promulgated or issued under this section.
A person who violates this section or a rule or order of the commissioner promulgated or issued under this section may be ordered to forfeit to the state an amount determined by the commissioner, but not more than $500 per violation and not more than $10,000 for all violations of a similar nature. Violations are of a similar nature if the violation consists of the same or similar course of conduct, action, or practice, irrespective of the number of times the conduct, action, or practice that violated this section or a rule or order promulgated or issued under this section occurred.
History: 2003 a. 302
Motor vehicle rustproofing warranties. 100.205(1)(a)
"Advertisement" means any oral, written, printed or graphic statement, claim or representation concerning rustproofing which is made in connection with the solicitation or sale of rustproofing.
"Retail customer" means the person for whom rustproofing is ultimately intended.
"Rustproofing" means the application of materials and processes intended or represented to prevent or control rusting or corrosion of a motor vehicle as defined in s. 340.01 (35)
"Seller" means any person who sells rustproofing to a retail customer, including a person who sells a motor vehicle which has rustproofing listed as an element of the total selling price, whether or not ordered by the retail customer.
"Warranted party" means the retail customer or another person to whom warranty rights have been assigned or transferred under the warranty.
"Warrantor" means any person who gives or offers to give a warranty.
"Warranty" means any written representation, made to a retail customer, which asserts that the rustproofing will meet a specified level of performance or duration or establishes conditions under which the warrantor will compensate the retail customer or rectify any failure to meet the specified level of performance or duration.
All rustproofing warranties shall be in writing and contain the following provisions:
Clear identification of all warrantors and their addresses, the name and address of the person to whom warranty claims are to be made and the place where inspection of the warranted motor vehicle is to be made.
Each condition limiting the warranted party's rights under the warranty.
The name and address of the insurer of the warranty in the event of the warrantor's insolvency or bankruptcy.
No rustproofing warranty may contain:
A limit on the number of claims which can be made under the warranty.
A warrantor's option of returning the purchase price in lieu of other remedies under the warranty.
A limit on the liability of the warrantor for any reason relating to misapplication of the rustproofing product.
An invalidation of the warranty on failure of the retail customer or the seller to register the warranty with the warrantor, if the retail customer or the seller has documentary proof that the rustproofing was paid for.
An exclusion of warranty coverage for manufacturer defects unless the part of the motor vehicle excluded and the basis for exclusion is specified in the warranty.
A limit on the transferability of a warranty during the specified term of the warranty.
Nothing in this section prevents a warrantor from designating a representative to perform duties under the warranty or relieves a warrantor of his or her responsibilities to a warranted party. A representative designated to perform duties under a warranty is not a warrantor unless he or she gives or offers to give a warranty.
No person may make any warranty advertisement which is untrue, deceptive or misleading as provided in s. 100.18
The specified term of a warranty shall be limited to that period preceding an inspection by the warrantor which is required to maintain the validity or original coverage of the warranty.
Use of "lifetime" or similar terms may not be used in an advertisement or warranty unless the term refers to the motor vehicle receiving the rustproofing and is not limited by the transfer of ownership of the motor vehicle.
No warrantor may fail to have a motor vehicle inspected within 30 days after receiving a claim under the warranty, if the warranted party makes the motor vehicle available for inspection to the warrantor or the warrantor's designee within that period. The inspection shall be within 30 miles of the place of business of the seller of the rustproofing, unless waived by the warranted party.
No warrantor may fail to notify a warranted party in writing within 30 business days after inspecting the motor vehicle whether the warranty claim will be allowed or denied. If a claim is denied in whole or in part, the reason for that denial shall be stated in writing. Notification is effective on mailing the warrantor's determination to the last address supplied to the warrantor by the warranted party or on personal delivery to the warranted party.
No warrantor may fail to comply with the terms of its warranty.
No warrantor or seller may impose a charge or require the purchase of any additional service by the warranted party in order to have an inspection completed if the continued validity of the warranty requires the inspection.
Every warrantor shall purchase a policy of insurance covering the financial integrity of its warranties. The policy of insurance shall be on a form approved by the commissioner of insurance and shall have the following minimum provisions:
The insurer shall be licensed to do business in this state or shall be an unauthorized foreign insurer, as defined in s. 600.03 (27)
, accepted by the office of the commissioner of insurance for surplus lines insurance in this state.
Each warranty issued in this state shall be covered by a policy of insurance.
In case of insolvency or bankruptcy of the warrantor, a warranted party may file a claim directly with the insurer.
In case of insolvency or bankruptcy of the warrantor, the insurer, upon receipt of a claim, shall cause a warranted party's vehicle to be inspected at the insurer's expense.
The termination provision shall state that the insurance provided shall continue with respect to all warranties issued before the date of termination.
The department, or any district attorney on informing the department, may commence an action in circuit court in the name of the state to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction any violation of this section. The court may, before entry of final judgment and after satisfactory proof, make orders or judgments necessary to restore to any person any pecuniary loss suffered because of a violation of this section. The department may conduct hearings, administer oaths, issue subpoenas and take testimony to aid in its investigation of violations of this section.
The department or any district attorney may commence an action in the name of the state to recover a forfeiture to the state of not more than $10,000 for each violation of this section.