Governor Jerry Brown's Veto Kills California SB 778 and AB 873

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California Governor Jerry Brown recently vetoed SB 778 wiping out the related anti-fast lube bill AB 873.

The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) initially opposed both bills, which sought to expand the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)’s jurisdiction over automotive maintenance providers (AMPs) as if they were doing repairs. The new requirements contemplated would have been catastrophic for AMPs’ business model, resulting in significant increases in consumer costs and time spent trying to obtain basic preventive automotive maintenance services. Although SB 778 also contained a highly controversial oil change interval disclosure requirement, the California New Car Dealers Association promoted the measure to capitalize on an opportunity to burden their preventative maintenance competition by getting them regulated as repair facilities.

After receiving protests from AOCA and more than 15,000 AMP-supporting consumers, SB 778’s author, Senator Ben Allen (D-26th), agreed to create a carve out for AMPs — those who do only automotive maintenance services associated with fluid and filter changes, fluid treatments and belt and windshield wiper blade replacement, a nearly identical category of the core preventative maintenance services originally recognized as deserving exception in the Automotive Repair Act. To ensure that BAR not be given additional authority without an AMP exception, Senator Allen insisted that both SB 778 and AB 873 contain a clause that each “shall become operative only if [the other] of the 2015-2016 Regular Session, relating to professions and vocations, is enacted and becomes effective on or before January 1, 2017.” Therefore, AB 873’s fate was sealed when Governor Brown vetoed SB 778.



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