Commitments and Contingencies
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2020
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||Commitments and Contingencies
Legal and Other Proceedings
Sonic is involved, and expects to continue to be involved, in various legal and administrative proceedings arising out of the management and conduct of its business, including regulatory investigations and private civil actions brought by plaintiffs purporting to represent a potential class or for which a class has been certified. Although Sonic vigorously defends itself in all legal and administrative proceedings, the outcomes of pending and future proceedings arising out of the management and conduct of Sonic’s business, including litigation with customers, employment-related lawsuits, contractual disputes, class actions, purported class actions and actions brought by governmental authorities, cannot be predicted with certainty. An unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on Sonic’s business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or prospects.
Included in other accrued liabilities and other long-term liabilities in the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2020 was approximately $0.3 million and $0.2 million, respectively, in reserves that Sonic was holding for pending proceedings. Included in other accrued liabilities and other long-term liabilities in the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2019 was approximately $1.2 million and $0.3 million, respectively, for such reserves. Except as reflected in such reserves, Sonic is currently unable to estimate a range of reasonably possible loss, or a range of reasonably possible loss in excess of the amount accrued, for pending proceedings.
Guarantees and Indemnification Obligations
In accordance with the terms of Sonic’s operating lease agreements, Sonic’s dealership subsidiaries, acting as lessees, generally agree to indemnify the lessor from certain exposure arising as a result of the use of the leased premises, including environmental exposure and repairs to leased property upon termination of the lease. In addition, Sonic has generally agreed to indemnify the lessor in the event of a breach of the lease by the lessee.
In connection with dealership dispositions and facility relocations, certain of Sonic’s subsidiaries have assigned or sublet to the buyer their interests in real property leases associated with such dealerships or facilities. In general, the subsidiaries retain responsibility for the performance of certain obligations under such leases, including rent payments and repairs to leased property upon termination of the lease, to the extent that the assignee or sublessee does not perform. In the event an assignee or a sublessee does not perform its obligations, Sonic remains liable for such obligations.
In accordance with the terms of agreements entered into for the sale of Sonic’s dealerships, Sonic generally agrees to indemnify the buyer from certain liabilities and costs arising subsequent to the date of sale, including environmental exposure and exposure resulting from the breach of representations or warranties made in accordance with the agreements. While Sonic’s exposure with respect to environmental remediation and repairs is difficult to quantify, Sonic’s maximum exposure associated with these general indemnifications was approximately $29.3 million and $46.5 million at September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. These indemnifications typically expire within a period of to three years following the date of sale. The estimated fair value of these indemnifications was not material and the amount recorded for this contingency was not significant at September 30, 2020.
Sonic also guarantees the floor plan commitments of its 50%-owned joint venture, the amount of which was approximately $4.3 million at both September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef