Tuesday, 05 October 2021 16:52

CA Gov. Signs AB 471, Signifying Big Win for Auto Body Shops and Consumers

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Every year, thousands of proposed bills hit the books in Sacramento, CA, but only a small percentage become laws.

Two years ago, AB 2454 was introduced by California Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), and after undergoing major revisions along the way, it recently became law. It’s called AB 471 and it's a huge win for the collision repair industry in California.


AB 471 focuses on the protection of consumers and enhancing current Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) programs by easily verifying and identifying auto repair shops that have proper training and certification credentials. It’s all about more accessibility and accountability, something consumers and auto body shops have been seeking for many years.


In June, the California state assembly voted 77-1 in support of AB 471 and moved the CAA-sponsored legislation over to the state senate for review and consideration. Four months later, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 471.


AB 471 improves the current citation and fine regulatory program by creating an independent conference panel to review citations; allows BAR to certify providers that train auto repair dealers; and provide opportunity for repair shops to attend training for minor paperwork citation violations, similar to traffic school.


CAA Lobbyist Jack Molodanof was pleased after working with Low on AB 471, but he knows there is much work yet to be done.


“As they say, the devil is in the details,” he said. “AB 471 provides a good framework, but now we will be working closely with BAR to create regulations based on the legislation. It’s always satisfying to see a bill that becomes a law, especially this one that’s going to help shops and consumers alike.”


Monte Etherton, owner of Fender Mender in Encinitas and chairman of CAA's Legislative Committee, is also delighted with the new law.


“We are all pleased with the passage of AB 471," Etherton said. "I am especially looking forward to the section of regulations which should prevent the sale of improperly restored total-loss vehicles to unsuspecting consumers. And it’s worth mentioning that allowing total losses to be sold for reconstruction drives up salvage values, which can hurt body shops because it...

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