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AB-596 Motor vehicle defects: service bulletins and consumer electronic authorization.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 10/04/2019 02:00 PM
AB596:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 596
CHAPTER 490

An act to amend Section 1795.91 of the Civil Code, and to add Section 11755 to the Vehicle Code, relating to motor vehicles.

[ Approved by Governor  October 03, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  October 03, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 596, Grayson. Motor vehicle defects: service bulletins and consumer electronic authorization.
(1) The Automotive Repair Act provides for the licensure and regulation of automotive repair dealers by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law also requires each manufacturer of a motor vehicle who furnishes notification to the registered owner of the motor vehicle of a defect in that motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that relates to motor vehicle safety to correct the defect without charge to the registered owner or to reimburse the registered owner for the cost of making the correction.
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act applies to electronic records and electronic signatures to a transaction, and generally prohibits a record or signature from being denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form. Existing law exempts from that act specific transactions, including transactions involving a motor vehicle manufacturer’s responsibility to furnish notification to the registered owner of the motor vehicle of any defect in the motor vehicle or its safety equipment, and the manufacturer’s duty to correct that defect without charge to the registered owner or by reimbursing the registered owner for the cost of making corrections, as specified.
This bill would permit a new motor vehicle dealer, despite the above provisions governing electronic transactions and notification of motor vehicle defects, to receive electronic authorization from consumers consistent with regulations of the Bureau of Automotive Repair for any repair of a manufacturer recall.
(2) Existing law requires a motor vehicle dealer to provide specified conspicuous notice to prospective purchasers and lessees on how to get copies of service bulletins describing any defects in their vehicles in accordance with federal law, from the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Existing law provides that this notice requirement will be deemed to be satisfied if the dealer posts in the showroom or other area a form that includes specified information, including that the bulletins are available for a fee from the manufacturer or the NHTSA Technical Reference Division at a specified address. Existing law also requires this notice to state that certain consumer publications publish these bulletins and some companies will send them to prospective purchasers and lessees for a fee.
This bill would delete the above-described language that references obtaining copies of these bulletins from the NHTSA Technical Reference Division at a specified address. The bill would also delete the first reference in the required notice that states that prospective purchasers and lessees may obtain copies of these bulletins “for a fee.” The bill would require the notice to state that these bulletins are not recalls. The bill would make related changes to these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1795.91 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

1795.91.
 Dealers shall have the following duties:
(a) A dealer shall provide notice to prospective purchasers and lessees that provides information on how to get copies of service bulletins. This notice shall not be construed as an admission by the dealer or manufacturer of the existence or nonexistence of a vehicle defect.
The notice shall be deemed sufficient if posted in the showroom or other area conspicuous to motor vehicle purchasers and written in the following form:

FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES MANUFACTURERS TO FURNISH THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (NHTSA) WITH BULLETINS DESCRIBING ANY DEFECTS IN THEIR VEHICLES. THESE BULLETINS ARE NOT RECALLS.

YOU MAY OBTAIN COPIES OF THESE TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETINS FROM THE NHTSA, THE MANUFACTURER (ASK YOUR DEALER FOR THE TOLL-FREE NUMBER), OR

CERTAIN CONSUMER PUBLICATIONS, WHICH PUBLISH THESE BULLETINS. SOME COMPANIES WILL SEND THEM TO YOU, FOR A FEE.

(b) A dealer shall disclose to a consumer seeking repairs for a particular condition at its repair shop, the principal terms and conditions of the manufacturer’s adjustment program covering the condition if the dealer has received a service bulletin concerning the adjustment program.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11755 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

11755.
 Notwithstanding Sections 1633.3 of the Civil Code and Section 9975 of this code, a new motor vehicle dealer may receive electronic authorization from consumers consistent with regulations adopted by the Bureau of Automotive Repair for any repair of a manufacturer recall.