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California to Consider Bills Affecting Auto Repairers

Published Jan. 25, 2023

It's still early in the California Legislative process, as the deadline to introduce bills is Feb. 17. The California Autobody Association (CAA) released a summary of what has already been introduced for consideration as of Jan. 25, what may be introduced before the deadline and other issues it is monitoring.

SB 55 would prohibit a new or used car dealer from selling a new motor vehicle equipped with a catalytic converter unless the catalytic converter has been engraved or etched with the VIN of the vehicle to which it is attached.

Legislation might be introduced to expand the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program to all vehicles, not just total loss revived salvage vehicles.

Employment bills: CAA is expecting several bills to be introduced dealing with employment, including paying employees overtime for more than 32 hours a week. This was last year’s AB 2932, which failed.

BAR Sunset Review: A BAR performance review by the State Legislature takes place every four years. The legislature and stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide input on BAR performance. The review hearing is not scheduled yet, but should take place in February or March. Some of the issues discussed include overall BAR communications with the automotive repair industry. The industry may not agree with BAR, but they listen. CAA supports BAR efforts.

CAA also strongly encourages the continuation of the BAR Advisory Group (BAG) Committee.

The option to have citations removed from BAR's website by taking remedial training goes away in 2026, unless extended; legislation will be necessary.

BAR needs to complete implementation of its Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program.

Should BAR be provided oversight authority over automotive estimating software companies?

Should there be training and registration requirements for automotive service writers?

Should BAR have additional authority to create regulations to deal with storage fees? Last year's bill regarding storage fees and tow trucks, AB 294, failed passage.

BAR Issues

CAA is monitoring AB 471 regulation implementation, including citation and training regulations, and the updating BAR application and vehicle safety systems inspection program for revived total loss salvage vehicles.

The BAR Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26, including an afternoon BAR Workshop regarding auto repair transactions and point of sale with software companies. CAA plans on attending and monitoring both the BAR meeting and workshop and reporting.

CA Dept. of Toxic & Substances Control (DTSC)

The California Department of Toxic & Substances (DTSC) has created a new board to oversee violations which will mean more enforcement cases. Concerns include hazardous waste fee increases and potential enforcement cases against automotive repair shops where DTSC goes through and inspects waste bins and garbage, referred to as "Dumpster diving," to find improper hazardous waste disposal. CAA will continue to monitor and report.

California Energy Commission (CEC)

The CEC is working on tire efficiency regulations. A workshop is scheduled for Feb 14. CEC is looking to lower rolling resistance for tires, creating better tire efficiency, to reduce greenhouse gases. In other words, less tread on tires is more efficient but concerns surround safety. Furthermore, there is a potential that CEC may require specific complaint tires be sold in California which will increase the cost for consumers. CAA plans on monitoring and reporting.

CA Dept. of Food & Agriculture (CDFA)

The California Food & Agriculture Department (CDFA) is examining issues surrounding engine and transmission fluid labeling. Last year's AB 2968 regarding engine and transmission labeling failed passage. The CDFA is looking to develop regulations to address issues, including adopting handbook 130. CAA will work with the CDFA on any potential regulations.

Source: CAA

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