This is the first of a three-part series detailing California’s new auto dealer regulations enacted by Assembly Bill 1215.
How much government regulation new and used car dealers be subject to has been an ongoing debate in California for many years. However, stories of unfair dealer practices and exploitation of consumers has led to the passing of Assembly Bill 1215, effective July 1, 2012.
The new regulations are:
Electronic Title Registration
Electronic title registration is notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding rightful possession of a motor vehicle. All new car dealers are required to become a DMV Business Partner by October 1, meaning that notice of all motor vehicle ownership changes will be given directly to the DMV via electronic title registration. Used car dealers, however, are not required to become business partners.
Buying a car from a DMV Business Partner dealer will keep consumers from receiving vehicles that the dealer had no right to sell and will help prevent ownership disputes.
Vehicle History Reports
All dealers must now obtain a vehicle history report from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) on every used car they sell. The law specifically states that it must be a NMVTIS report, which is available through various providers (not Carfax or Auto Check). Vehicle history reports provide details concerning the title, brand history, salvage history, total loss history, and odometer reading.
By obtaining a vehicle history report, a consumer can hopefully learn of any accidents, recalls, and overall use that the car has been subjected to. He or she can also find out if anything may have been covered up or what problems the car might have.
Protecting California Consumers against Dealer Fraud
While laws such as AB 1215 provide greater consumer protection, dealer fraud still occurs. If you have been the victim of such practices, Los Angeles dealer fraud attorney Howard D. Silver can help. For more information, call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver at (866) 49-LEMON.