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Legislative update: California bills that can impact auto repair

CAA continues to review, monitor and report on bills as they make their way through the legislative process — here’s the latest on where they stand

Sacramento, Calif.—The State Legislature began the year with bills to consider, and as the session moves forward, the California Autobody Association (CAA) is monitoring the bills. Here’s the CAA’s breakdown of where bills presently stand.

Electric Vehicle Batteries

• SB 615 –Electric Vehicle Batteries – Concerns. Requires an auto body shop that removes an electric battery from a vehicle that is still in service to participate in a core exchange program established by the battery supplier and be responsible for either returning a removed battery to the battery supplier or sending it to a qualified facility.  


• AB 518 – Paid Family leave – Concerns. Expands the definition of “family member” for purposes of the Paid Family Leave Program to allow workers to take time off to care for a seriously ill designated person.

• AB 1870 – Workers’ Compensation Notice – Watch. This bill would require the existing posted workers’ compensation notice to include information concerning an injured employee ability to consult a licensed attorney to advise them of their rights under workers’ compensation laws.

Vehicle Emissions  

• SB 301 – Zero-Emission Aftermarket – Watch. Requires CARB to establish the Zero Emissions Aftermarket project to provide an applicant with a rebate up to $4,000 for a vehicle that has been converted to a zero-emission vehicle. 

• AB 2418 – Vehicular Air Pollution: Heavy Duty Trucks – Watch. This bill would exempt a 2024 and subsequent model heavy duty truck that meets federal emission standards from state regulations governing exhaust emissions.

Career Tech Funding 

• AB 377 – Career Tech Education – Support. Increases Career Technical Education funding from $300 million each year to $450 million. 

• AB 2273 – Career Technical Education – Watch. This bill establishes the California pilot paid internship program to help pupils for higher skill jobs of the future and appropriates $12 million dollars to the Department of Education to allocate grant funds to school districts for the internship programs.

• AB 1927 – Career Technical Education Instructors – Support. This bill would expand the Golden State Teacher Grant Program to also award grants to students who commit to work for 4 years as a credentialed career technical education instructor.

Catalytic Converters

• AB 2188 – Vehicles – Watch. Existing law prohibits a person from installing, selling, or advertising any device intended for use with a required vehicle pollution control device that alters the performance of the pollution vehicle control system. This bill creates and exception for a new aftermarket catalytic converter that has been approved by the EPA.

Other Bills of Interest

• AB 1901 – Vehicles: Total loss claim. Watch. This bill would, if an insurance company requests a salvage pool to take possession of a vehicle that is subject of a total loss claim, and insurance company does not take possession of the vehicle, authorize the insurance company to direct the salvage pool to release the vehicle to the registered and legal owner.

• AB 2536 – Vehicles; local registration fees. Watch. This bill would define vehicle theft crimes to include the theft of vehicle parts or components.

• AB 3085 – Street takeovers, sideshows, racing. Watch. This bill provides that a vehicle used in the exhibition of speed where the offense was part of a vehicle sideshow is a public nuisance which may be subject to forfeiture upon conviction of the operator of the vehicle.

• SB 898 – Vehicle Equipment: Windows. Watch. Requires all vehicles sold in California to be equipped with a side window, windshield, back window, and sunroof that allow no more than 2% of ultraviolet A radiation, no more than 2% of ultraviolet B radiation, and no more than 10% of infrared radiation of the incident solar radiation into the vehicle.

• SB 961 – Vehicles Safety Equipment. Concerns. This bill requires, commencing with 2027 model year to be equipped with an intelligent speed limiter that would limit the speed of the vehicle to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

BAR Regulations  

• Storage guidance and regulations. Guidance provided by BAR when and how much to charge for storage. BAR is working on regulations. Concerns include the “limiting” or “capping” auto body shop storage rates.

• Tear down disclosure requirements. Additional requirements when dealing with an insurance claim, including listing the payment amount expected from insurer on the estimate. Concerns include possible inserting the auto body repair shop between the customer and insurer relationship.

• Smog Check Inspection (DAD specification updates). BAR regulations will provide updates to DAD smog check equipment to include more tools to combat fraud.

California Energy Commission – Replacement Tire Efficiency Regulations    

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is progressing in the implementation of proposed regulations that would mandate tire retailers, including auto body shops, to display signs, provide tire disclosures to consumers and include them on all advertising.   

The automotive repair industry has expressed concerns about the proposed tire regulations and their potential impacts on small businesses. CAA has been working with CEC to seek exemptions for tire sellers engaged in occasional and to provide clarification for requirements relating to signs, disclosures and advertising. CAA has submitted suggested amendments and met to the CEC for their consideration, and CAA will continue to do so to address concerns.

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