Now is a good time for franchised dealerships to evaluate their websites for accessibility compliance. If a dealership’s website is not compatible with assistive technologies, disabled customers may not be able to shop for vehicles, make online parts purchases or learn more about what the dealership offers them. In addition to losing potential sales, dealerships risk facing legal action. To date, plaintiffs across the country have asserted that websites for businesses, including dealerships, do not provide equal access under the ADA for persons with disabilities. These dealerships have often settled to prevent expensive litigation, making a commitment to improve website accessibility.
Most public-facing dealership websites involve vehicle OEMs, website developers, vendors and other content providers. Addressing dealership website accessibility is complex because each of these entities exerts control over, has responsibility for, manages and/or provides content to dealership websites.