AB 471 Implementation Update

Following are implementation updates on the programs and provisions authorized by Assembly Bill (AB) 471 (Low, Chapter 372, Statutes of 2021). For additional information on these efforts, including notices on upcoming public workshops and regulatory actions, join the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) email list, and visit the Public Workshops and Regulatory Actions webpages at www.bar.ca.gov.

Citation and Remedial Training Program for Automotive Repair Dealers

BAR’s citation program will soon include the ability to address violations of the Automotive Repair Act by automotive repair dealers (ARDs). The program will include an informal citation review process and a remedial training option for ARDs seeking to prevent public disclosure of eligible citations.

BAR submitted the final citation and remedial training regulation package to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on March 7, 2023. Implementation of the program is projected for July 1, 2023.

Citation Review

A three-member panel will review appeals from cited ARDs. The panel will consist of a consumer, a member from the automotive repair industry, and a BAR representative. The consumer and industry representatives will be selected through an application and interview process. During the citation review conference, the panel members will receive information from BAR regarding the reason for the citation and from the licensee who was cited. At the conclusion of the conference, the panel will make a recommendation to the Bureau chief or their designee to affirm, modify, or dismiss the citation.

Remedial Training

ARDs may participate in a remedial training program, once every 18 months, to prevent public disclosure of their citation if BAR deems the violation to be minor in nature, such as a violation involving documentation or record keeping. The training will consist of eight hours of instruction on BAR’s laws and regulations and will be administered by a BAR certified training provider. Providers seeking to obtain remedial training certification will be required to submit an application and a description of their training course to BAR for review and approval.

ARD Registration Application Requirements and Educational Certifications

The 45-day comment period on the proposed regulations to add educational certifications to the ARD registration application ended on December 27, 2022. Based upon comments received during the 45-day comment period, BAR modified the proposed text and posted the modified text for an additional 15-day comment period, which ended on January 28, 2023. BAR modified and posted additional modified text for a second 15-day comment period, which ended on March 15, 2023. BAR submitted the final regulation package to OAL on March 17, 2023. Implementation is expected on July 1, 2023.

BAR is developing future enhancements to the Auto Shop Locator to display ARD educational certification information.

Vehicle Safety Systems Inspection Program

BAR is in the process of developing the new vehicle safety systems inspection and certification program that will consolidate the current brake and lamp inspection programs into one program and will add other safety systems to the inspection. The program will be implemented no sooner than January 1, 2024. To support the new program, BAR’s enforcement, engineering, and technology services branches have been working on a new safety inspection system (BAR-SIS) that will be integrated into BAR’s On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System. The BAR-SIS will support the inspection of vehicle safety systems and will issue electronic certificates of compliance.

BAR is working with the Department of Consumer Affairs to prepare the package for approval by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and expects the Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action to be published in June 2023, which will initiate the public comment period. BAR will host a public workshop on April 27, 2023 to discuss the implementation strategy of the vehicle safety systems inspection program. Workshop materials are available on the Public Workshops webpage at www.bar.ca.gov.

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