SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) and a bipartisan group of legislators are announcing details on new legislation that is the Assembly Rules Committee is referring to committee today.
The Consumer Automotive Recall Safety Act (CARS Act), AB 287, would increase disclosures, improve safety and provide additional cost protections for California’s consumers who purchase or own used recalled vehicles. The bill makes California the first state in the nation to comprehensively address recalls of used cars, officials said. It was introduced in early February with intent language and the Assembly Rules Committee is now referring the bill.
In 2014, a record 63.8 million recalls were issued in the United States and the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) expects this number to grow in 2015. Approximately one-third of all recalls never get repaired, as consumers are feeling overwhelmed and unsure about the seriousness of the recalls on their vehicles, according to the CNCDA.
“As more vehicle recalls are issued — almost daily — dealers are increasingly facing tough questions from their customers. By sponsoring the CARS Act, dealers are working to fix the growing problem of new and used vehicles being recalled by the manufacturers or NHTSA,” said Brian Maas, CNCDA president. “Dealers’ number one goal is to get their customers into safe cars and the CARS Act will accomplish this goal.”
The CARS Act not only increases disclosure to consumers, but also prohibits the sale, lease, or rental of used cars under “Stop Sale, Stop Drive” recalls until they are fixed. Additionally, the bill requires franchised dealers to fix any recall issue for the line make of their franchise prior to sale or lease. For all other recalls, consumers would be notified of the recall and where to get it fixed at no cost.
While Congress is working on a solution to the problem, previous federal proposals exempt private party sales, which total nearly 60% of vehicle sales in California. The CARS Act also addresses private party transactions by asking private party sellers to disclose any unrepaired recalls to private party buyers.
"The bipartisan CARS Act proposes a balanced approach to addressing the record number of vehicle recalls in California,” said Dale Bonner, former California secretary of business, transportation and housing. “The bill's effort to increase disclosure will improve safety and benefit consumers by getting dangerous vehicles off our roads."
“California already has the strongest car buyer protection laws in the nation, but we need to enhance those laws to improve the information provided to consumers, increase consumer protections and ensure recalls are getting fixed,” said Assemblyman Rich Gordon, primary author of AB 287. “By taking the most dangerous vehicles off the road and encouraging consumers to fix recalled vehicles at no cost, California is attacking this crisis more aggressively than any other state.”
CNCDA has joined with a bipartisan team of legislators who will work with consumers, dealers, manufacturers, and rental car companies to pass this comprehensive recall legislation. Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), and Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) are authoring the legislation, and Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) and Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) are co-authoring, to increase disclosure of recalls, improve safety and add consumer cost protections.