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Governor Signs Car-Buying Reform Bill

September 29, 2011

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Sept. 26 that will allow California auto dealers to raise document fees by at least $25. The bill, however, also will install new consumer protections in an already highly regulated state.

Introduced by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Sherman Oaks), AB 1215 will require new-car dealers to register vehicles electronically starting next July, and require dealers to post a red sticker on used cars they sell that are flagged in in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) as "junk," "salvage" or "flood" branded.

“By signing this law, the governor can protect consumers and save the state nearly the same sum as the budget cuts causing 70 state parks to close next year,” said Blumenfield. He added that the state will save $9 million in administrative costs at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Consumer advocates have long sought the protections offered in this bill," said Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety. "For the first time, auto dealers will be required to provide vital information about a vehicle's safety, reliability, and worth before consumers even start negotiating."

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