Advanced Driver Assist Systems
Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) are vehicle safety features to aid drivers and prevent accidents. Examples include systems for collision avoidance braking, blind spot awareness, adaptive headlamps, parking assistance, pedestrian detection, lane departure assistance, and adaptive cruise control.
ADAS use input from cameras, radars, and ultrasonic devices through sensors and computers to take control of vehicle components. These components include vehicle systems such as steering, braking, or engine throttle. ADAS can also send audible alerts and illuminate warning lights to the driver to prevent accidents.
Advanced Driver Assist Systems include but are not limited to the following:
Most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) require specific service specifications for ADAS to be followed after a collision. This can include pre-scans, post-scans, and calibration of the systems affected. ADAS service specifications ensure the vehicle’s cameras, radars, and ultrasonic devices are aligned and functioning as engineered for consumer safety.
Some service specifications require scans and recalibrations of certain repairs even without sustaining a collision, such as windshield replacement, vehicle wheel alignment, change in suspension, or even dismantling of certain auto body components.
ADAS recalibration can vary by vehicle manufacturer, make, and model. These variations can range from driving the vehicle under certain conditions or for specified periods of time to hanging mechanical targets to recalibrate the system, depending on the specific vehicle equipment.
In a recent interview with the Inter-Industry Conference of Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), Jason Partanen, Director, Industry Technical Relations stated, “With the increase in ADAS on today’s vehicles, collision repair diagnostics is going to continue to play a growing role in complete, safe, quality repairs.” Bartanen also added, “In order for many of the advanced driver assist systems to function as designed following repair, calibration and aiming procedures are critical. A camera or sensor that is misaligned a few degrees may prevent one of these safety systems from functioning as designed.”
Some Automotive Repair Dealers (ARDs) are performing ADAS service internally, while others are subletting the service to outside vendors. In either case, ARDs are required to adhere to service specifications, accepted trade standards, and laws contained within the Automotive Repair Act and BAR regulations. California Code of Regulations section 3365 (a) requires that:
Repair procedures including but not limited to the sectioning of component parts, shall be performed in accordance with OEM service specifications or nationally distributed and periodically updated service specifications that are generally accepted by the autobody repair industry.
Protecting and empowering consumers is a key tenet of both the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). Both BAR and DCA believe strongly that safety recall compliance is critical to saving lives. As many are aware, an unprecedented vehicle safety recall campaign of Takata air bags has been initiated by 19 different vehicle manufacturers. This safety recall campaign is because of a safety defect that may cause the air bag inflator to explode and cause serious injury and/or death.
In an effort to inform and protect consumers and increase vehicle safety recall compliance rates, BAR recently worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) to help educate California consumers with high risk vehicles. Our efforts resulted in the identification of 852 “Alpha” group vehicles, which are considered the most dangerous, with an open Takata air bag recall. BAR successfully contacted the owners of over 500 “Alpha” group vehicles, notifying them of the recall and safety risks associated with continued operation of the vehicle with a defective airbag.
BAR is committed to continue to work with all stakeholders to find ways to protect consumers by increasing vehicle safety recall compliance. Additionally, we believe that the automotive repair industry is ideally positioned to support this objective and has a real opportunity to help save lives by informing and educating consumers. Several resources exist that can help consumers determine if their vehicle does in fact have an open safety recall. Consumers can enter their 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through the NHTSA Recall page at www.nhtsa.gov and quickly determine if their vehicle is subject to a safety recall. It is important to provide these resources to your customers and let them know that these repairs will be performed by the manufacturer at no cost. For more information, visit the Safety Recall page at www.bar.ca.gov.
Online License Renewal System
BAR’s online license renewal system is a user-friendly process that allows Automotive Repair Dealer (ARD) registrants, station licensees, and Smog Check inspector and repair technician licensees to renew their registration/license more conveniently, saving mailing time and postage.
Before starting the process, verify that the address on the renewal notice is current. Address changes must be received and processed prior to submitting an online renewal payment. The Change of Name/Address/Corporate Officers form is available on BAR’s website at www.bar.ca.gov. Also, ensure the license number is entered correctly to prevent license renewal processing delays. To review license renewal eligibility requirements and renew your license online, follow these steps:
After submitting an online license renewal payment, no further action is necessary. OPC will process the payment within 2-3 business days. If any further information is needed to process the renewal, BAR will send the licensee a deficiency letter in approximately 14 days. When BAR has verified that all requirements have been met, the renewed registration/license will be sent to the address of record.
Industry Help Desk
BAR’s Industry Help Desk is available to provide answers to questions received via email or telephone on technical matters, BAR programs, and other issues relating to Automotive Repair Dealers (ARDs), Smog Check stations and inspectors/technicians, and Brake and Lamp stations and adjusters. The Program Representatives answering the phones are former repair technicians with many years of experience in the automotive repair industry.
Typically, the Help Desk handles issues concerning the BAR-97 and On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System (BAR-OIS) testing platforms, including the initial BAR-OIS registration and software download. The Help Desk also answers questions pertaining to the STAR Program and BAR’s website at www.bar.ca.gov.
Stations that call regarding test equipment hardware malfunctions, enforcement issues, licensing issues, and certain types of smog analyzer lockouts are referred to the appropriate BAR program.
THE HELP DESK CAN:
THE HELP DESK CANNOT:
BAR-97 EIS Update
BAR anticipates the adoption of regulations requiring compliance with the new BAR-97 Emissions Inspection System (EIS) specification in Summer 2018. The proposed regulation removes current requirements for the transfer of data from BAR-97 Smog Check equipment to BAR’s Vehicle Identification Database (VID) through traditional analog telephone lines and replaces them with requirements for the transfer of data through a standard internet connection. Two EIS equipment manufacturers (Snap-on and SPX) have informed BAR that they will not be participating in the update. Stations that use Snap-on and SPX BAR-97 analyzers may need to purchase new equipment to be in compliance with the new Smog Check Program requirements.
However, both OPUS and Worldwide Environmental Products (WEP) have informed BAR that they plan to continue providing EIS equipment to the Smog Check industry. While nothing is yet certified to meet the new specification, both companies have submitted updated equipment to BAR to begin the certification process in anticipation of the regulations being adopted. These next generation EIS units are upgrades of existing EIS units already being used by Smog Check stations to test 1999 and older model-year vehicles.
EIS upgrades will be split into two stages. The first stage will convert EIS communications from a phone line and modem (i.e., dial-up) to Internet Protocol (IP). The later update will modernize end-of-life EIS units with changes such as requiring a Windows operating system, converting to a new and more reliable gas bench, and updating the data record layout. BAR has been working with EIS manufacturers to test and certify new operating systems, gas benches, sample hoses, and other items to ensure reliable EIS equipment is available to support the California Smog Check Program.
Although the exact date that support for dial-up EIS connectivity will be terminated is unknown, BAR strongly suggests that Smog Check stations obtain an internet-capable EIS as soon as possible to ensure business continuity through this transition. BAR will notify Smog Check stations of any developments as they occur. The current status of all EIS certifications can be found on the BAR-97 EIS Information page at www.bar.ca.gov.
The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) typically undergoes a Sunset Review process every four years. This provides an opportunity for BAR, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Legislature, stakeholders, and interested parties to discuss BAR’s operations and make recommendations for improvement. To assist in the review, BAR recently submitted its Sunset Review report to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development and the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions. The report provides information about BAR, its licensees, and how BAR performs its regulatory functions. The 2017 Sunset Review is available at www.bar.ca.gov. BAR is scheduled to participate in legislative hearings on the report early next year.
Legislation and Regulations Update
The following are updates on various legislative and regulatory proposals. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, given the nature of the legislative process, the information provided may not reflect the latest updates. The most current bill information is located on the California Legislative Information website at www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. For more information on legislation or regulation proposals, or to learn about future opportunities for public participation, visit the About BAR page at www.bar.ca.gov.
Assembly Bill (AB) 188 (Salas) relates to vehicle retirement guidelines within the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP). The bill requires the Air Resources Board (ARB) to amend program guidelines to make the existing miles per gallon standards for minivans applicable to light-duty trucks no later than July 1, 2019. The bill was signed by Governor Brown and files with the Secretary of State on October 10, 2017.
AB 630 (Cooper) relates to the vehicle retire-and-replace option in the EFMP. This bill would require ARB, in consultation with BAR, to update current EFMP guidelines by July 1, 2019 expanding the allocation of funds for the retire-and-replace option and creating a “mobility option” that would offer public transportation vouchers in place of vehicle replacement. The bill would also requires ARB and BAR to set specific annual goals for EFMP and the Clean Cars 4 All retire-and-replace program that must be posted on the organizations' public website along with performance information reporting on each goal identified. The bill was signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on October 10, 2017.
AB 1069 (Low) relates to the regulation of taxicab transportation services. This bill requires that motor vehicles used in taxicab transportation services be in a safe operating condition and in compliance with the California Vehicle Code. The bill also requires an annual BAR inspection of these vehicles. The bill was signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on October 13, 2017.
AB 1274 (O’Donnell) requires ARB to expand the current biennial Smog Check exemption for six model-year or newer vehicles to include seven and eight model-year old vehicles, beginning January 1, 2019. Owners of those vehicles will be required to pay a $25 abatement fee as part of their registration fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles, of which $21 would be collected by ARB and distributed through the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. The remaining $4 will be deposited into the Vehicle Inspection and Repair Fund. The bill was signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on October 10, 2017.
Senate Bill (SB) 210 (Leyva) would require ARB and BAR to adopt regulations to require emissions inspections of heavy-duty vehicles used for commercial purposes and set compliance standards and inspection procedures for these vehicles. Heavy-duty vehicles are currently exempt from the Smog Check Program. SB 210 replaces SB 638 (Leyva), which was initially proposed to address this issue. The bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on Rules on August 28, 2017.
Mobile Automotive Repair Dealer Advertising
BAR recently adopted regulations concerning advertising requirements for Automotive Repair Dealers (ARDs) who perform mobile repairs. ARDs whose business model relies primarily on mobile repair typically advertise on the internet and are more difficult to monitor than other repair dealers since they do not operate out of a registered business address. The new regulation was developed in response to and in collaboration with the automotive industry to address this issue. Not only will the regulation assist BAR in combating unlicensed activity, but it also will help consumers with verification of a mobile ARD's license status.
Electronic Documents and Consumer Authorizations
BAR has developed proposed regulations that would allow for electronic estimates and authorizations to be used in transactions between ARDs and consumers. The proposed regulations also clarify current language and reorganize estimate, work order, and invoice provisions to more closely align with automotive repair transactions.
A public hearing was held on September 26, 2017. After reviewing comments submitted during the 45-day public comment period, BAR issued a 15-day Notice for Public Comments on revisions to the regulation text on November 3, 2017. A second 15-day Notice for Public Comment was issued on December 4, 2017. A Final Statement of Reasons, which will include responses to all comments received during the public comment periods, will be published upon filing with the Secretary of State. Adoption is expected in Spring 2018.
Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Program
Automotive Repair Dealers (ARDs) engaged in the retail sale of replacement lead-acid batteries are now required to charge consumers a $1 fee when a battery is purchased. The Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016 was enacted by Assembly Bill 2153 (Garcia, Chapter 666, Statutes of 2016). Beginning April 1, 2017, this law requires the collection of two new fees. Battery manufacturers now pay a $1 fee for every retail sale of a lead-acid battery directly to consumers, or any sale made to a dealer, wholesaler, distributor, or other third-party retailer of the battery. In addition, a $1 fee is charged to the consumer for each purchase of a replacement lead-acid battery from a dealer, including purchases directly from the battery manufacturer.
ARDs who sell replacement lead-acid batteries must collect the fee and remit it to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). ARDs must list the fee as a separate line-item on all invoices. The fee is not subject to sales tax and 1.5 percent of the fee (15 cents) may be retained by the ARD as reimbursement for collection of the fee. Beginning April 1, 2022, the fee is scheduled to increase to $2.
A refundable deposit must also be charged by the ARD and separately stated on the invoice when a consumer purchases a replacement lead-acid battery and does not exchange the used battery at the time of purchase. The deposit is not subject to sales tax if the transaction is taxable and is refunded if the battery is returned within 45 days.
BAR by the Numbers
Licensing Summary as of June 30, 2017
Complaint Trends for January-June 2017
Disciplinary Actions (January - June 2017)
Public documents relating to the following disciplinary actions are available on the License Search page at www.dca.ca.gov.
Follow the Bureau Online
The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) is online! The website's user-friendly design allows licensees and the automotive repair industry to easily find the information they are looking for. Click on the “Industry" tab on the home page to quickly access ET Blasts, STAR information, licensing information, and more. Need a form or application? All BAR documents can now be accessed through the “Documents” tab.
BAR Employment Opportunities
BAR hires program representatives throughout the state to enforce the laws and regulations governing automotive repair and Smog Check services. If you are interested in working for BAR, please visit the Job Opportunities page at www.bar.ca.gov to review examination requirements and job announcement postings.