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AB-1185 Rental passenger vehicles.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/12/2017 02:00 PM
AB1185:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 12, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1185


Introduced by Assembly Member O'Donnell

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 1939.23 of, and to add Section 1939.02 to, the Civil Code, and to amend Section 27365 of the Vehicle Code, relating to rental passenger vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1185, as amended, O'Donnell. Rental passenger vehicles.
Existing law generally governs the transactions between a rental car company, also referred to as a rental company, and its customers, including, among other provisions, required disclosures by a rental company, mandatory contract provisions for a vehicle rental agreement, restrictions on a rental company’s use of electronic surveillance technology, and authorization for a rental company to collect specific types of fees and charges from its customers. Existing law defines terms for its purposes.
Existing law requires a rental company that offers or provides a damage waiver for consideration in addition to the rental rate to disclose specified information about the renter’s liability and how the renter’s personal insurance policy or credit card may provide coverage for all or a portion of the renter’s potential liability. Existing law requires this information to be posted on a sign in a clearly visible location and describes how a rental company’s disclosure requirements may be satisfied for renters who are enrolled in the rental company’s membership program. Existing law requires a rental car agent, if it sells insurance, or its endorsee, to make specified disclosures to the renter relating to that insurance, that may be displayed by clear and conspicuous signs posted where rental agreements are executed. Existing law also requires a car rental agency to inform each customer of a state law regarding child restraint systems by posting in a conspicuous place a notice not smaller than 15 by 20 inches with a specific statement.
This bill would authorize a rental company to comply with a these sign posting requirement requirements or the above-described child restraint systems notice requirement by using an electronic sign.
Existing law, as part of the restrictions on the use of electronic surveillance technology referenced above, prohibits a rental car company from using, accessing, or obtaining any information relating to the renter’s use of the rental vehicle that was obtained using electronic surveillance technology unless certain conditions are met, including that the rental vehicle has not been returned following one week after the contracted return date, or by one week following the end of an extension of that return date.
This bill would instead authorize a rental car company to use, access, or obtain that information if the rental vehicle has not been returned following 3 calendar days after the contracted return date, or by 3 calendar days following the end of an extension of that return date.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1939.02 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

1939.02.
 A rental company may comply with a requirement to post a sign pursuant to this chapter or subdivision (c) of Section 1758.86 of the Insurance Code by using an electronic sign.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1939.23 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

1939.23.
 (a) A rental company shall not use, access, or obtain any information relating to the renter’s use of the rental vehicle that was obtained using electronic surveillance technology, except in the following circumstances:
(1) (A) When the equipment is used by the rental company only for the purpose of locating a stolen, abandoned, or missing rental vehicle after one of the following:
(i) The renter or law enforcement has informed the rental company that the vehicle is missing or has been stolen or abandoned.
(ii) The rental vehicle has not been returned following three calendar days after the contracted return date or by three calendar days following the end of an extension of that return date.
(iii) The rental company discovers the rental vehicle has been stolen or abandoned, and, if stolen, the rental company shall report the vehicle stolen to law enforcement by filing a stolen vehicle report, unless law enforcement has already informed the rental company that the vehicle is missing or has been stolen or abandoned.
(B) If electronic surveillance technology is activated pursuant to subparagraph (A), a rental company shall maintain a record, in either electronic or written form, of information relevant to the activation of that technology. That information shall include the rental agreement, including the return date, and the date and time the electronic surveillance technology was activated. The record shall also include, if relevant, a record of written or other communication with the renter, including communications regarding extensions of the rental, police reports, or other written communication with law enforcement officials. The record shall be maintained for a period of at least 12 months from the time the record is created and shall be made available upon the renter’s request. The rental company shall maintain and furnish explanatory codes necessary to read the record. A rental company shall not be required to maintain a record if electronic surveillance technology is activated to recover a rental vehicle that is stolen or missing at a time other than during a rental period.
(2) In response to a specific request from law enforcement pursuant to a subpoena or search warrant.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not prohibit a rental company from equipping rental vehicles with any of the following:
(1) GPS-based technology that provides navigation assistance to the occupants of the rental vehicle, if the rental company does not use, access, or obtain information relating to the renter’s use of the rental vehicle that was obtained using that technology, except for the purposes of discovering or repairing a defect in the technology and the information may then be used only for that purpose.
(2) Electronic surveillance technology that allows for the remote locking or unlocking of the vehicle at the request of the renter, if the rental company does not use, access, or obtain information relating to the renter’s use of the rental vehicle that was obtained using that technology, except as necessary to lock or unlock the vehicle.
(3) Electronic surveillance technology that allows the company to provide roadside assistance, such as towing, flat tire, or fuel services, at the request of the renter, if the rental company does not use, access, or obtain information relating to the renter’s use of the rental vehicle that was obtained using that technology except as necessary to provide the requested roadside assistance.
(c) Subdivision (a) does not prohibit a rental company from obtaining, accessing, or using information from electronic surveillance technology for the sole purpose of determining the date and time the vehicle departs from and is returned to the rental company, and the total mileage driven and the vehicle fuel level of the returned vehicle. The information obtained or accessed from this electronic surveillance technology shall only be used for the purpose described in this subdivision.
(d) A rental company shall not use electronic surveillance technology to track a renter in order to impose fines or surcharges relating to the renter’s use of the rental vehicle.

SEC. 3.

 Section 27365 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

27365.
 (a) (1) A car rental agency in California shall inform each of its customers of Section 27360 by posting, in a place conspicuous to the public in each established place of business of the agency, a notice not smaller than 15 by 20 inches or an electronic sign which states the following:
“CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES ALL CHILDREN UNDER 8 YEARS OF AGE TO BE TRANSPORTED IN THE REAR SEAT OF THE VEHICLE IN A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM. THIS AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE FOR RENTAL OF A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM YOURSELF.”
(2) The posted notice or electronic sign specified in paragraph (1) is not required if the car rental agency’s place of business is located in a hotel that has a business policy prohibiting the posting of signs or notices in any area of the hotel. In that case, a car rental agency shall furnish a written notice to each customer that contains the same information as required for the posted notice.
(b) Every car rental agency in California shall have available for, and shall, upon request, provide for rental to, adults traveling with children under eight years of age, child passenger restraint systems that are certified by the manufacturer to meet applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards for use by children, are in good and safe condition, with no missing original parts, and are not older than five years.
(c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).