A decision has now been reached by the hearing officer in the Illinois protest of Ford’s Model e program. The protesting dealers prevailed on every count and the hearing officer suggested the Illinois Motor Vehicle Review Board (MVRB) award attorneys’ fees and costs to the dealers. Additionally, the hearing officer determined that the Model e program constituted a modification of the franchise agreement, as defined by Illinois law. The hearing officer further found that the dealers' participation in the Model e program was not voluntary but rather coercive, with Ford implicated for acting in bad faith. Furthermore, the hearing officer made a clear distinction between this proposed decision and the prior adverse ruling in South Dakota.
The proposed decision now goes to the MVRB for review in mid-November.
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