Letters to the Editor

Letter: Car warranty repair bill

With almost unanimous support, the Alaska Legislature recently passed House Bill 233. This bill requires auto manufacturers to pay the same rate and time allowances as everyday Alaskans, rather than the massively discounted rates and times they currently pay.

Auto manufacturers would have you believe that this bill would only serve to raise prices for the Alaska consumers. Actually, the massive discounts manufacturers take forces dealers to raise prices on consumers to bridge the gap between warranty and customer pay work.

I have been in Alaska’s automotive industry for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen the toll that “warranty” pay takes on employees, from technicians not being able to make a living doing warranty work to adviser pay being less for warranty repairs. This disparity simply cannot continue.

Illinois passed similar legislation in 2021, and a study published in February 2024 by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute found the passage of this law “boosted the Illinois economy by $300 million, boosted dealership workers’ pay by $143 million, and reduced dealership employee turnover by around 9%.”

Implementation of HB233 would mean an additional $14 million in warranty payments annually in Alaska. If we apply the same 2.11 multiplier the state of Illinois used, that would mean an approximate $30 million boost to Alaska’s economy.

This bill would effectively end the two-tiered compensation system that currently exists. In a time where it is critical to grow the state’s economy, this bill has the potential to give the state a much-needed shot in the arm.

I strongly encourage the governor to sign this bill.


— Susan Hicks


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