Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2021
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies
Legal and Other Proceedings
In the ordinary course of business, Sonic is involved, and expects to continue to be involved, in various legal and administrative proceedings arising out of the 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 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. When we believe that a loss is probable and reasonably estimable, we make an accrual for our estimated probable losses. Such reserves are presently immaterial, both individually and in the aggregate. Other than as reflected in our recognized 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 our operating lease agreements, our 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, we have 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 our 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 the 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 our dealerships, we generally agree 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 our exposure with respect to environmental remediation and repairs is difficult to quantify, our maximum exposure associated with these general indemnifications was approximately $4.0 million and $25.0 million at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively. These indemnifications typically expire within a period of one 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, 2021.
We also guarantee the floor plan commitments of our 50%-owned joint venture, the amount of which was approximately $4.3 million at both September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020.