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Are (U.S.) automakers required to maintain an infrastructure of spare parts for 15-years (in the U.S. or in California)?

Reading about the GM EV-1:

The EV1's discontinuation ... to avoid potential losses in spare parts sales (sales forced by government regulations)

... maintaining a parts supply and service infrastructure for the 15-year minimum required by the state of California ...

i cannot find any any such law, either in California, the U.S., Canada, or anywhere.

Are automakers required to maintain spare parts infrastructure for 15 years?


From: Quiroga, Tony. "Driving the Future." Car and Driver Aug 2009: 52

When the EV1 leases came due, GM collected all the experimental cars and had most of them crushed to avoid liability issues and parts-availability regulations.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Answer in progress.

California Consumer Protections

Although California Civil Code (section 1793.03) specify three-year minimum (seven years for sets or appliances priced $100 and up) for electronics and household appliances (regardless of warranty), I could not find similar provision in that particular law for the automotive parts availability.

However, section 1793.2 gives general requirement:

Every manufacturer of consumer goods sold in this state and for which the manufacturer has made an express warranty shall:

(3) Make available to authorized service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and replacement parts to effect repairs during the express warranty period.


Related question was asked on lawguru.com and answered by alleged attorney from California as such:

not aware of any law requiring an automobile manufacturer to sell an [sic] parts at all


Also should include

CAL. CIV. CODE § 1793.2 : California Code - Section 1793.2

  • (a) Every manufacturer of consumer goods sold in this state and for which the manufacturer has made an express warranty shall:
    • ...
    • (3) Make available to authorized service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and replacement parts to effect repairs during the express warranty period.
  • ...
  • (d)
    • ...
    • (2) If the manufacturer or its representative in this state is unable to service or repair a new motor vehicle, as that term is defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 1793.22, to conform to the applicable express warranties after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall either promptly replace the new motor vehicle in accordance with subparagraph (A) or promptly make restitution to the buyer in accordance with subparagraph (B). However, the buyer shall be free to elect restitution in lieu of replacement, and in no event shall the buyer be required by the manufacturer to accept a replacement vehicle.
      • (A) In the case of replacement, the manufacturer shall replace the buyer’s vehicle with a new motor vehicle substantially identical to the vehicle replaced. The replacement vehicle shall be accompanied by all express and implied warranties that normally accompany new motor vehicles of that specific kind. The manufacturer also shall pay for, or to, the buyer the amount of any sales or use tax, license fees, registration fees, and other official fees which the buyer is obligated to pay in connection with the replacement, plus any incidental damages to which the buyer is entitled under Section 1794, including, but not limited to, reasonable repair, towing, and rental car costs actually incurred by the buyer.
      • (B) In the case of restitution, the manufacturer shall make restitution in an amount equal to the actual price paid or payable by the buyer, including any charges for transportation and manufacturer-installed options, but excluding nonmanufacturer items installed by a dealer or the buyer, and including any collateral charges such as sales tax, license fees, registration fees, and other official fees, plus any incidental damages to which the buyer is entitled under Section 1794, including, but not limited to, reasonable repair, towing, and rental car costs actually incurred by the buyer.

So, GM would have been required to be able to service EV-1's for at least 7 years.

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I've always heard 7 years tossed around, and from my friends in the body shops that seems pretty accurate. Domestic OEM sheet metal is no problem for 7-8 years, then they end up going aftermarket/manufacturing their own due to lack of availability. Foreign laws may be different though. I've had success getting factory new sheet metal parts for a 20+ year old Toyota. –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 18 '12 at 13:48
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