We have recently filed suit against AAMCO Transmission, Inc. and its parent companies. During our investigation, we discovered the existence of the National Aamco Dealers Association (NADA). I thought, rather naively, that such an association would be on the side of the dealers in any disputes against the franchisor. However, as we explored the association in greater depth, what we found was astonishing.
Far from protecting the dealers, NADA really does nothing to protect the dealers’ interests. Sure, there are emails and letters in which NADA acknowledges the serious concerns raised by the AAMCO dealers. NADA claims it brought these issues to the franchisor. Back in 2011, NADA claimed that several of the issues were being addressed through the formation of “committees” to investigate the issues. However, here we are over two years later and not a single issue has been resolved. In the meantime, dealers continue to fail and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. To rub salt in the wounds, the leader of NADA, a fellow AAMCO dealer, was quoted in the NBC-DC investigative reports as a supporter of the franchisor. Keep in mind that the story done by NBC raised the exact same issues that were supposedly raised by NADA back in 2011.
The NADA leader also threatened one of our clients concerning late ad pool fees. This client had agreed to be a named class representative in the suit we just filed. On her behalf, we sent the NADA chief and the advertising agency a letter requesting copies of any agreements signed by our client. We never received a response. However, rather mysteriously, our client ceased all communication with us, refused to return phone calls, and failed to respond to emails. We can only assume that the NADA chief took some action to threaten our client to silence her or give her some other incentive not to cooperate. We have been told repeatedly by several sources that AAMCO is very lax with the fees owed by the NADA chief for his own shops. With a friend like, that who needs enemies? My advice to AAMCO dealers is to rip away the “sheep” exterior of NADA to expose the wolf. Once that’s done, the AAMCO dealers need to form a dealers’ association that will truly protect their interests.