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Monthly Update ALERT! August 2019

President's Message

Date: August 2019

RE: CalABC President’s Message:


Good Day to our CalABC Members and Friends,


This edition of the CalABC Monthly Newsletter is full of key information that directly effects your operation.


Take a moment to really look this over.  Granted it is a lot of information but there isn't any fluff here! It is all "meat and potato's".


As always let us know what you think and if there is something you would like us to take a look at, don't hesitate to let us know.


Finally take some time and enjoy the summer, and we will talk to you next month.


Bud Rice

CalABC President






The legislature returns from Summer recess on August 12 and we expect a lot activity, or as we call it “Silly Season” (gut and amends) when they often make major changes to bills when they return from Summer recess.  We will continue monitoring all legislation including those bills that died during the year but may "pop up" again late in session.


1. Unsafe Used Tires.  Support.  AB 949 would prohibit an automotive repair dealer from installing a used unsafe tire as specified. Status: Senate Floor.


2. Battery Fees.  AB 142.  Concerns. Current law requires both consumers and manufacturers to pay a $1.00 for each new battery sold until April 2022, at which point the consumer fee would increase to $2.00 and the manufacturer fee would go away.  This bill would instead require the manufacturer to pay $2.00 starting from April 2022, in addition to the current $2.00 fee from consumer, for a total of $4.00. Status:  Senate.


3. Independent Contractors. AB 5. Oppose.  This bill would provide the factors of the "ABC" test, as specified, to be applied to determine the status of workers as employee or independent contractor.  The bill has been amended to provide an exemption between businesses. Status: Senate.


4. Electronic Receipts-Paper Waste.  AB 161. Concerns.  Requires a business to provide a proof of purchase to consumer only at the consumer option.  Also prohibits proof of purchase from containing bisphenol A or bisphenol S.  The bill exempts Invoices. Status: Senate.


5. Private Post-Secondary Education.  AB 1343 & AB 1345. Oppose unless amended. These bills are part of bill package targeting bad actors in the Private Post-Secondary Education.  These bills need to be amended to address concerns, otherwise they will negatively impact good performing schools including Universal Technical Institute (UTI).  Status: Senate. AB 1343 is a two year bill and AB 1345 is moving forward in the Senate.


6. Minimum Franchise Tax.  SB 349. Support.  This bill would reduce the minimum franchise tax, as provided, based on the gross receipts of a corporation. The bill is sponsored by the California Small Business Association. Status: Assembly.


7. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). AB 874. Expands the "publicly available" information that is exempted from the definition of "personal information" in the CCPA and clarifies drafting errors.  The bill is supported by the Calif Business Chamber. Status: Senate.


8. Tire Tax.  Oppose.  AB 755 would have established a new tax of $1.50 per tire, on top of the current $1.75 tax already charged for a total of $3.25.  The additional revenue would go to storm-water projects that remediate zinc pollutants.  Status: Died on Assembly Floor, two year bill.


9. Sales Tax on Labor.  Oppose. SB 522 intends to make major tax reforms including expanding the sales tax to all services, including automotive repair labor.  We believe that this bill will most likely move next year but will monitor closely.  Status: Senate Rules Committee.


10. Grading System for Auto Repair Industry.   Concerns.  Based on Bay Area NBC news station negative stories earlier this year there continues to be talks of introducing legislation that would create a grading system for auto repair shops similar to restaurants. Assembly member Low continues to have interest in introducing legislation. We will monitor closely.



Regulation Update!

Here’s our recap of the BAR Advisory Meeting that was held July 18th, 2019. We are combing my report with Jack’s as we have in the past.


Mr. Castillo DCA (Department of Consumer Affairs) Deputy Director of Boards & Bureaus gave his presentation as they are currently searching for the new Director of DCA, in the interim Chief Deputy Director Chris Schultz is Acting Director. Matt Gibson from BAR has graduated from their Succession Program for Future Leadership at BAR/DCA and will be someone to watch as his career advances. They will soon begin their third Cohort Leadership Development program and are open to new candidates applying.


The Legislative and Regulatory presentation will be outlined in greater detail in Jack’s notes, but it’s important to note that at least three of the bills BAR was tracking AB 210, AB 390 and AB 1359 and they are now 2-year bills and AB 460 is in the Suspense file. Jack has given you what they are doing on the regulatory side, one key point we’re following is on page 9, slide 17 of the Certified Training Institutions/Instructors as they are carving out numbers 2 & 3 and we’re going to track that because (2) the training for compliance and regulations, (3) making conforming changes to Disciplinary Guidelines is critical to providing a complete and comprehensive training program.


On the Cal-Vista program our takeaway is spelled out in Jack’s notes and the savings on the cost of the Smog Check to Oncore, but it didn’t go unnoticed that here we have another vendor replacing the last one. This seems to be a constant issue with vendors and government agencies and the problem either lays on one side or the other. We will see if they can deliver and the key component is the reduced inspection fee down to $.070 cents per test versus $1.08.


On a separate note, we will be hearing more about BAR’s Enforcement Licensing Modernization Program (ELM) for short that will focus on the modernization of all aspects of licensing and the effort to move to an electronic platform and away from a paper-based process.


When we look at the presentations on OBD and Smog Check, it’s important to note when you review the slides that our argument in moving the Smog Check Exemption from 6 to 8 years is already being proven in BAR’s Data set. We argued against moving it to 8 years because it would harm consumers where repairs would fall out of the emission warranties and many costs associated with both state and federal guidelines on the manufacturer doing repairs on emission related failures would be covered under warranty. In the end, the test results show many vehicles need emission related repairs after the 4th year the vehicle is in service, so moving from a 6 year to 8 years harmed consumers. One might argue that under the old 6-year rule they were already harmed. That’s true, but why did you need to go to 8 years?


One of our major concerns was the BAR’s QR Code presentation, as we wanted to address the key issues with the proposal. When you consider this is going to shine a spotlight on a business that’s registered with BAR, we understand the argument that all that information is already on the website and easily accessible. The net of all the conversation was that CalABC’s opposed to it as proposed because is shines a spotlight on any pending or completed disciplinary actions taken. It doesn’t address a statute of limitations that we recommend should only go back 3 years. The proposal is being driven by the media in trying to force legislation through Assembly Member Low’s office to offer more transparency for consumers on automotive repair shops. The initial idea was to create a grading system like restaurants where you give them a grade, that was determined to not be feasible. The overall direction should be guided and shaped by the Automotive Repair Industry, in cooperation with BAR and Assembly Member Low to create a program where all stakeholders win, versus someone must lose. We want to work with BAR staff to develop something that works and isn’t punitive to the business over someone who may no longer even work at the business. The intent is to also tie into ELM in modernizing how consumers interact with BAR. One suggestion CalABC proposed in addition to the time limits, was to add buttons the consumer could use that poses a question: Have you contacted the owner __ Yes or __ No if you answer No, it could populate the owner of the businesses name and contact information and ask the consumer to contact them first, if that was unsuccessful, then contact BAR again. Regardless of the layout, we should have something that identifies whether to consumer gave the business a chance to resolve the matter.


After the meeting, I spoke with Chief Dorais and then Clay Leek who heads up this project with Jorel Cooper the Software Developer and told them we really need to understand what they want to accomplish and we are willing to help work through it if we can reach a compromise to address our concerns, as well as BAR’s concerns over being given a mandate to do something. I offered to continue discussing it with them. In the end, we may want to workshop this to get it right, as in talking with Clay, other DCA Boards and Bureaus are very interested in the QR Code idea and want to develop something for theirs. Stay tuned as this is a hot topic. 


The changes at ASE were refreshing in that technicians will now be able to renew their certifications through their Mobile App and technicians would pay an annual subscription fee that would enable them to renew their certificates, the real change will be that through the MyASE Application, you would be continuously updating your certifications A1 – A8 and the current recertification program would go away, as would the 5 year duration for the awarded certification and would shift to an annual recertification. The annual program does make more sense given the rapid changes in vehicle technologies.


We’re excited at how fast the Cars to Schools Program got put into place, Denise Cunningham worked diligently with Alisa Reinhardt, George Hritz, Ruben Parra, me and countless others at BAR, DMV and the Education Department to get this done. Looking to the future, maybe we can work with our service providers to once again consider equipment donations.




If you know of any high school(s) in your areas that have a good automotive program, please get the information to George and I so we can be sure they get some of these vehicles.


Here is Jack’s summary of his notes from the BAR Advisory Group meeting in Sacramento on Thursday, July 18, 2019.


DCA News and Updates.  The Governor is still in the process of selecting a new permanent Director of DCA.


Legislation and Regulations Update. Legislation - AB 142 (Lead-Acid Batteries fees); AB 161 (Electronic receipts); AB 210 (Smog Check Exemption); AB 390 (Violations for muffler noise); AB 596 (Service Bulletins and Consumer Electronic Authorization); AB 755 (Tire Tax); AB 949 (unsafe used tire installation); AB 1359 (Towing oversight by CHP); AB 1538 (Auto Collision Coverage); SB 59 (Automated Vehicle Technology); SB 460 (Biennial Registration).  Regulations:  STAR Program Clean-Up; BAR Licensing Form Updates; Certified Training Institution/Instructors (the training regulation will be separated into two regulations to streamline the process);  Brake Lamp Stations and Adjusters updates and Smog Check Repair Assistance;.  For more information contact Holly O'Conner, BAR at


California Vehicle Inspection System Transition (Cal-VISTA) Project Update. The new RFP contract for the ongoing smog check Maintenance and Operation was awarded to Oncore Consulting LLC on June 4, 2019.  The prior contract was with SGS. The transition to Oncore to take place on or about November 1, 2019. The smog inspection fee will be reduced from $1.08 to $.70 per test, resulting in a savings of $46 million over 10 year.  Smog stations will need to enroll with Oncore in order to continue in the smog check program. Details of enrolling will be out soon. For more information contact


OBD Pre-Inspection Activity Presentation. The Air Resources Board conducted a study of Pre-Inspection activity on OBD- based inspections. For most, taking a "MIL on" vehicle into smog check is not efficient because consumer knows that the vehicle will not pass smog so they have it inspected/repaired before inspection. Based on Roadside testing the study concluded that most people deal with the "MIL on" before the vehicle is inspected and therefore, inspection failure stats only reflect a small faction of the real benefits of the program.  The study also concluded that the smog check program provides incentive for consumer to repair vehicles and that the smog check program is still really important. For more information contact


2019 Smog Check performance Report. BAR has conducted its annual smog check performance report which provides analysis of roadside failure rates, number of retests, vehicles not certified after failure, etc. The complete report is on the BAR website at For more information contact


Station Wall Licenses QR Code Demonstration.  Due to recent NBC negative news stories BAR is exploring ideas for BAR to provide disciplinary information to consumers rather than having legislation introduced that would create a potential grading system (A,B,C) similar to the restaurant industry.  One idea BAR is exploring is to include a QR code on the license. All ARD's are currently required to post a wall license in an area visible to the consumer that contains name, license number, address and expiration date. Finding more information about ARD requires the consumer to navigate the BAR website or call BAR.  BAR is considering updating the ARD wall license to include a QR code that can be scanned by a mobile phone to quickly access information about the ARD including disciplinary history.  There were many concerns raised at the meeting, including whether QR codes are necessary or effective if information is already posted on website; whether QR codes would unfairly direct the consumer to complaint page or disciplinary history without ARD first having opportunity to resolve issue.  BAR will consider all comments and concerns and work with industry on alternative solutions before proceeding.  For more information contact


Online Training Presentation.  ASE provided a brief overview of renewal program (Beta Test) which allows technicians to renew ASE certification through a mobile application by answering questions each month on mobile device.  The program is limited to test A1-A8. There is a $48.00 annual subscription fee and private Facebook group. For more information


Cars for Schools Update.  The BAR has developed a new program where BAR will provide CAP vehicles to publicly funded automotive technical training programs operated by High Schools, Community Colleges and Regional Occupational Programs. The program is intended to provide students additional hands-on training opportunities and increase the types of vehicles available for instruction. BAR in the process of obtaining list of public high schools and community college auto programs. BAR also conducting outreach to inform schools of this new program,  For more information contact


Enforcement Statistics Update.  Consumer complaints made to the BAR for the year:  Engine repair/performance account for 33%; General repair maintenance 18%; Auto Body 16%; Transmission 9%; Smog 6%; Used car transactions 4%; vehicle warranty 3%; unlicensed activity 3%.  For more information contact Bill Thomas, BAR at

All presentations will be available online at


The next BAR Advisory Group meeting is scheduled for Thursday October 17, 2019.   


Workshops. The BAR is also planning to hold two separate workshops after the next BAR Advisory Committee meeting. One workshop will address auto body equipment standards and the other will address transmission fluid additives. 




Reminder, we need everyone’s help in getting oil producers to the October Workshop to ensure we have the specialist at the table in developing policy for the future applications of transmission fluids and additives. Please send that information to me and I will forward them to Chief Dorais and Allen Morrison.

Monday, August 12, 2019

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