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Upcoming California 2023 legislative issues that may affect auto repair

It’s still very early in the legislative bill introduction process, but so far here are the bills up for consideration by Feb. 17

Sacramento, Calif.—It’s still very early in the legislative bill introduction process, but so far here are the bills up for consideration, compiled by the California Autobody Association (CAA). The bill deadline is Feb. 17.

SB 55 (Catalytic Converters) Prohibits a new or used car dealer from selling a new motor vehicle equipped with a catalytic converter unless the catalytic converter has been engraved or etched with the vehicle identification number of the vehicle to which it is attached. 

Potential Bills

Legislation to expand BAR Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program to all vehicles, not just total loss revived salvage vehicles.

Employment Bills — Expecting several bills to be introduced dealing with employment, including paying employees’ overtime for more than 32 hours a week — this was last year’s AB 2932, which failed. 

Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Sunset Review 

BAR performance review by the State Legislature. This review takes place every 4 years. The legislature and stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide input, re: BAR performance. Some of the issues discussed include:

Overall BAR communications with industry is good — automotive repair industry may not agree with BAR, but they listen. Support BAR efforts. 

BAR Advisory Group (BAG) Committee. Strongly encourage continuation.

AB 471 — Website removal of citations by taking remedial training goes away 2026, unless extended- legislation will be necessary.

Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program — Need BAR to complete implementation. 

Automotive Estimating Software Companies — Provide BAR with oversight authority? 

Automotive Service Writers — Require service writer training/registration requirements? 

Storage issues — Additional authority for BAR to create regulations to deal with storage fees? Last year’s AB 294: Storage Fees and Tow Truck legislation failed passage

BAR Legislative Sunset Review hearing not scheduled yet, but should take place in February or March.

Issues being monitored

AB 471 

Regulation implementation, including citation and training regulations, updating BAR application and vehicle safety systems inspection program, for revived total loss salvage vehicles.  

CA Dept of Toxic & Substances Control (DTSC)

The California Department of Toxic & Substances (DTSC) has created a new board to oversee violations which will mean more enforcement cases. Concerns include hazardous waste fee increases and potential enforcement cases against automotive repair shops where DTSC goes through and inspects waste bins and garbage, referred to “Dumpster Diving,” to find improper hazardous waste disposal.

California Energy Commission (CEC) 

The CEC is working on tire efficiency regulations. A workshop is scheduled for Feb 14. CEC is looking to lower rolling resistance for tires, creating better tire efficiency, to reduce greenhouse gases. In other words, less tread on tires is more efficient but there are concerns around safety. Furthermore, there is a potential that CEC may require specific complaint tires be sold in California which will increase the cost for consumers.   

CA Dept of Food & Agriculture (CDFA)

The California Food & Agriculture Department (CDFA) is examining issues surrounding engine and transmission fluid labeling. Last year’s AB 2968 engine and transmission labeling bill failed passage. The CDFA is looking to develop regulations to address issues, including adopting handbook 130.

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