(a) Effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, every franchise agreement entered into between a producer and dealer shall contain provisions which comply with this section.
(b) A dealer shall have the right, effective upon his death or retirement, to have his interests under a franchise agreement assigned to a designated family member who has been approved by the producer in accordance with the producer's reasonable standards for personal and financial condition unless the producer shows that the designated family member no longer meets the reasonable standards set at the time of the previous approval. All franchise agreements shall contain a provision identifying the designated family member who is entitled to succeed to the interests of the dealer under the agreement upon his death or retirement. The foregoing shall not prohibit a producer from requiring as a condition to honoring the succession that the designated family member accept a trial franchise within thirty days of the dealer's death or retirement and that the designated family member attend a training program offered by the producer. As used herein, the term "trial franchise" shall have the same meaning as the same is defined in the federal petroleum marketing practices act (15 U.S.C., paragraph 2801, et seq.).
(c) A dealer and producer may mutually agree to change the designated family member entitled to succeed to the dealer's interests under a franchise agreement. The designated family member shall provide, upon the request of the producer, personal and financial data that is reasonably necessary to determine whether the succession shall be honored. The producer shall not be obligated to accept a designated family member under this subsection who does not meet the producer's reasonable standards, but any refusal to accept the designated family member as a successor dealer shall be given by the producer in writing to the dealer and shall fairly state the reason therefor.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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