The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association and JM&A Group have joined in creating the nation's first used-vehicle certification program sponsored by a state trade association.

The action resulted from the state of Minnesota's extensive warranty law, which mandates minimum requirements for all vehicles sold by dealers.

Used cars and trucks must be warranted for 60 days or 2,500 miles with less than 36,000 miles of use and 30 days or 1,000 miles for usage of between 36,000 and 75,000 miles.

JM&A's Minnesota products exceeds both minimums, running for 90 days and 3,000 miles and applying to items such as air conditioning.

In addition, the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association warranty offers 24-hour emergency roadside assistance, rental car coverage of up to $25 a day for a maximum of 10 days, trip interruption protection of $75 a day up to a maximum of $225 and Carfax title search on each used vehicle purchased.

Qualifying dealers, who will be required to pass a 68-point inspection, will display an "MADA Certified" banner and affix the logo on vehicle labels and point-of-purchase materials.

The program, going into effect this spring, was negotiated by MADA's executive vice president, Scott Lambert, and Royce Southerland, regional manager for the JM&A Group.