The Future of Mobile Service is Here
By: Danielle Roth
For years now Tesla has provided “Tesla Rangers” to perform at-home or at-work portable service for certain Tesla vehicle repairs. The Tesla Rangers typically fix simple and routine maintenance issues for customers, but they are also able to fix certain recalls. Considering its popularity with Tesla customers, it’s no surprise that OEM franchisors other than Tesla are starting to implement mobile service programs. As with all new policies and procedures, the implementation of mobile service comes with questions such as: Per my dealer agreement can the franchisor require me to use mobile service? Is there a franchise law or other regulatory provision that prohibits or authorizes the use of mobile service in my state?
In order to answer each franchisees’ specific questions it’s necessary to review individual dealer agreements as well as each state’s franchise laws and other regulatory provisions. For example, in Connecticut, the franchise laws and other regulatory provisions are silent when it comes to mobile service. It’s possible to bring some arguments forward against the mandatory use of mobile service repair, but ultimately there is nothing in law that prohibits it. In comparison, Florida Statutes specifically include mobile motor vehicle repairs shops in the definition of “motor vehicle repair shop” and authorize mobile motor vehicle repair shops to use a home address for purposes of its application. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Florida is home to several mobile motor vehicle repair shops both affiliated and non-affiliated with an OEM. Services performed via mobile service include oil changes, tire rotations, inspections, battery replacement, wiper blade replacement, and some recalls.
Love it or hate it mobile service is likely the future. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced franchise attorney review your state’s regulations and in the future lobby for mobile repair legislation that takes into consideration the position of franchisees.