Arlington, VA — The American Consumer Institute (ACI), a champion for consumer rights, calls on Governor John Carney to veto the controversial SB 278. Passed last week by the Delaware state House without public hearings, this bill threatens to increase vehicle costs, stifle consumer choice, and derail Delaware’s climate goals.

Read the full letter here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Excessive Costs to Consumers: ACI’s analysis reveals that dealership protection laws like SB 278 could cost U.S. consumers an additional $48 billion annually, equating to about $3,000 more per vehicle, aligning with findings from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
  • Unjust Enrichment: Car dealers, who already enjoy double the profitability of carmakers, would benefit at the expense of average Delawareans, constituting what ACI views as welfare for the wealthy.
  • Legal Overreach: The bill grants dealer associations undue power to initiate lawsuits without demonstrating actual harm, potentially stifling legitimate business practices and innovation.
  • Threat to Environmental Goals: SB 278 poses a significant risk to Delaware’s ambitious carbon reduction targets by potentially excluding electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers from the state market.

This bill emerges as consumers face escalating prices amid high inflation, making everyday affordability a pressing concern. It not only contradicts Delaware’s established climate action strategies but also undermines the democratic process by bypassing public discourse on such a critical issue. In the spirit of fairness, economic prudence, and environmental stewardship, ACI implores Governor Carney to veto SB 278. We encourage Delawareans and stakeholders to engage in this crucial discussion to ensure that legislation aligns with the public interest and state objectives.

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The American Consumer Institute is a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org or follow us on X @ConsumerPal.