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California’s legislative session concluded last week after approving a new measure that, if signed by the governor, would increase the penalties for repair shops that fail to properly restore an airbag that has been deployed in a crash.

CLICK HERE to see the Governor's decision on SB 427 as of September 28.

Senate Bill 427 (Negrete McLeod D-Chino) would impose a fine of $5,000 or up to one year in prison, or both, for any automotive repair dealer that “prepares a written estimate for repairs that includes replacement of a deployed airbag and who fails to repair and fully restore the airbag to original operating condition.”

Tuesday, 28 September 2010 17:15

Gov. Vetos California SB 427

Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed SB 427 (Negrete-McLeod). CLICK HERE for discussion of bill.

The governor vetoed Senate Bill 427 Friday, Sept. 24. The legislation proposed by California state Sen. Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, had been introduced to crack down on airbag fraud but it also included numerous confusing amendments to the Business and Professions code, which previously only applied to insurers.

The bill included language that condemns perpetrators of airbag fraud, stating that those who “fail to repair and fully restore the airbag to original operating condition where the customer has paid for the airbag repair as provided in the estimate” can receive up to a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
The language of the bill also included restrictions for invoices, including the following requirements:
•  All work done by an automotive repair dealer, including all warranty work, must be recorded on an invoice and must describe all service work done, parts supplied and crash parts installed.
•  Service work and parts must be listed separately on the repair invoice, which must also state separately the subtotal prices for service work and for parts, not including sales tax, and must state separately the sales tax, if any, applicable to each.
•  If any used, rebuilt or reconditioned parts are installed, the invoice must clearly state that fact.
•  If a part of a component system is composed of new and used, rebuilt or reconditioned parts, that invoice must clearly state that fact.
•  The invoice must include a statement indicating whether any crash parts are original equipment manufacturer crash parts or non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash parts.
•  One copy of the invoice must be given to the customer and one copy must be retained by the automotive repair dealer.
To view the California bill (S.B. 427), visit the Automotive Service Association’s legislative website, www.TakingTheHill.com. Click on the “Track Current Legislation” button, then follow the state legislation link.

This summer, Completes Plus, a full-line wholesale parts distributor based in Los Angeles, CA, moved their main warehouse and office space to a larger warehouse just a short distance from the original location.

To view a PDF of this article please CLICK HERE.

This meeting at Brookside Country Club by the Rose Bowl in Pasadena was the last chapter meeting of 2010. With the end of 2010 fast approaching and new rules taking effect, a major focus of the meeting was to help members gain an understanding of what SCAQMD Rule 1147 is all about and how it could affect them. The deadline for Rule 1147 takes effect January 1, 2011, and will have a major financial impact on many body shop owners.

One of the speakers on the subject was Wayne Barcikowski, a chemical engineer with 20 years at the AQMD, who wrote the Rule. The major concern for shop owners and managers is how permits required by Rule 1147 will impact them financially. Ms. Van Huong N. Phan, 23-year AWMD veteran and senior air quality engineer for the compliance office handled the questions about “Permits.”

Thursday, 23 September 2010 16:43

CAA Asks Governor to Veto SB 519

RE: AB 519 (Solorio)-VETO

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

Toyota has reached an out-of-court settlement with relatives of the Saylor family who were killed when the Lexus sedan they were driving sped out of control and crashed, , according to reports made by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Investigators attributed the accident to a mismatched floormat, which trapped the accelerator pedal, and put an international spotlight on the sudden acceleration concerns that later prompted the automaker to recall millions of vehicles.

Toyota confirmed the settlement September 18 in a statement but did not provide the amount involved or any other details.

“Through mutual respect and cooperation we were able to resolve this matter without the need for litigation,” the statement said.

The crash, which happened in August 2009 in Santee, CA,  was dramatically documentend with cell phone evidence that drew international attention. A backseat passenger called 911 to say that the driver, an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer named Mark Saylor, was unable to stop the 2009 Lexus E350, which went as fast as 120 miles per hour on a freeway before hitting another vehicle, going airborn and landing in a fiery crash in a ravine.

Mark Saylor, 45; his wife, Cleofe, 45; and their 13-year-old daughter Mahala died, along with Cleofe Saylor’s brother, Chris Lastrella, 39. It was Lastrella who told the 911 operator that the car’s pedal was stuck and ended the call by saying, “Hold on and pray.” The car was on loan from the nearby Bob Baker Lexus dealership while Saylor’s car was being repaired.

The settlement has left out co-defendant Bob Baker Lexus, a move by the automaker that could set the stage for a potentially damaging fight with its own dealers over who is to blame for sudden acceleration incidents.

“Toyota has sought to protect only its own interests. They decided to cut out their own dealer,” said Larry Willis, attorney for Bob Baker Lexus.

The settlement, according to Toyota’s statement, resolves product liability claims by the Saylor and Lastrella families against Toyota and the dealership. The families have separate claims against the dealership that were not covered.

Two months after the crash, Toyota began a recall that eventually covered 5.4 million vehicles globally in which the automaker said the driver-side floormat could trap the accelerator pedal.

It later recalled 4.5 million vehicles in which the pedals themselves were determined to be defective. Some vehicles were covered by both recalls, for a total of about eight million vehicles.

In February, Toyota’s chief executive, Akio Toyoda, apologized to Congress and to the Saylor family, saying he would “do everything in my power to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.”

The recalls hurt Toyota’s sales and damaged its reputation for building high-quality, reliable vehicles. Thousands of complaints poured in to federal regulators from drivers who said their Toyota-made vehicles accelerated suddenly. In April, the government fined Toyota a record $16.4 million for waiting too long to initiate a recall. The complaints are tied to at least 93 deaths.

Toyota is continuing to defend itself against class-action lawsuits filed by Toyota owners and relatives of people who died in crashes alleged to have resulted from sudden acceleration. The company could face billions of dollars in liabilities if it loses the cases.

Preliminary results released in August from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s investigation into the sudden-acceleration complaints revealed that in many of the crashes the vehicles’ on-board data recorders showed no evidence that the drivers had used the brakes.

The findings suggest that some drivers were mistakenly pressing on the accelerator pedal instead of the brake.

To read previously published articles on this subject go to www.autobodynews.com, search “Saylor.”