Amended in Assembly June 9, 2016

Amended in Senate January 4, 2016

Amended in Senate April 20, 2015

Amended in Senate April 6, 2015

Senate BillNo. 778

Introduced by Senator Allen

February 27, 2015

An act tobegin insert amend Section 9880.1 of, and toend insert add Article 12 (commencing with Section 9890) to Chapter 20.3 of Division 3begin delete ofend deletebegin insert of,end insert the Business and Professions Code, relating to professions and vocations.


SB 778, as amended, Allen. Automotive repair: oil changes: notification to customers.

Existing law, the Automotive Repair Act, provides for the registration and regulation of automotive repair dealers by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, which is under the supervision and control of the Director of Consumer Affairs. Existing law requires repair dealers to give the customer a written estimated price for labor and parts necessary for a specific job.begin insert Existing law defines terms for purposes of these provisions.end insert Existing law makes a violation of that act, except as specified, punishable as a misdemeanor.

This bill would require an automotive repair dealerbegin insert performing oil change servicesend insert tobegin delete notify a customer, who is purchasing an oil change, of the recommended oil drain interval, oil grade, and viscosity specified in the maintenance schedule of the vehicle’s owner’s manual. The bill would also require, except as specified, an automotive repair dealer to use the oil drain interval specified in the maintenance schedule of the vehicle’s owner’s manual if the automotive repair dealer is recommending the date or mileage for the next oil change, as described.end deletebegin insert use the manufacturer’s published oil drain schedule, except as specified, when recommending an oil change to a customer. The bill would require that an automotive repair dealer include a written explanation for any recommendation for oil change at an interval other than the interval recommended by the manufacturer, and to include a specified notice to the customer with regard to the manufacturer’s published oil change recommendations. The bill would permit a customer to choose any oil drain interval that he or she chooses and have that interval reflected in any future recommendations by the automotive repair dealer. The bill would expand the definition of “repair of motor vehicles” to include lubricating vehicles and replacing oil filters and would specify that a person who performs these services is an “automotive technician.” The bill would also define other terms for purposes of these provisions.end insert The bill would expand the definition of an existing crime by placing new requirements on automotive repair dealers, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(a) Used automotive oil is one of the largest sources of
4hazardous waste generated in California. While California has a
5robust recycling program in place, about 40 percent of automotive
6oil can never be collected for recycling because it is lost in use,
7either burned in the combustion chamber or dripped onto streets
8and parking lots. Of the oil that is collected, only a small percentage
9is actually rerefined into new automotive oil.

10(b) Oil quality and engine technology have evolved significantly
11in recent years. New motor oil formulations reduce repairs, prolong
12engine life, improve fuel economy, and enable significantly longer
P3    1oil change intervals than outdated 3,000-mile-oil-change marketing

3(c) Most automakers currently specify oil change intervals at
4either 7,500 or 10,000 miles, with intervals as high as 15,000 miles
5in some cars. Motor oils that meet current American Petroleum
6Institute (API) standards will have the capability to meetbegin delete theend delete current
7automaker oil change interval recommendations.

8(d) Changing oil more often than what is specified by the
9automaker in the vehicle’s owner’s manual wastes oil and money
10and compounds the environmental impact, especially to water.

11(e) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that the oil drain
12interval recommended by an automotive repair dealer be in
13accordance with the maintenance schedule of the vehicle’s owner’s
14manual and with the recommended oil grade and viscosity in order
15to prevent deceiving or misleading consumers with unnecessary
16and costly oil changes.

17(f) It is further the intent of the Legislature to source-reduce the
18amount of used automotive oil that is generated in California in
19order to reduce our dependence on petroleum products, avoid
20damage to the environment and threats to public health, and be
21consistent with the state’s hierarchy for waste management
22practices pursuant to Section 40051 of the Public Resources Code.

23begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 9880.1 of the end insertbegin insertBusiness and Professions Codeend insert
begin insert is amended to read:end insert



The following definitions apply for the purposes of
26this chapter:

27(a) “Automotive repair dealer” means a person who, for
28compensation, engages in the business of repairing or diagnosing
29malfunctions of motor vehicles.

30(b) “Chief” means the Chief of the Bureau of Automotive

32(c) “Bureau” means the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

33(d) “Motor vehicle” means a passenger vehicle required to be
34registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and all
35motorcycles whether or not required to be registered by the
36Department of Motor Vehicles.

37(e) “Repair of motor vehicles” means all maintenance of and
38repairs to motor vehicles performed by an automotive repair dealer
39including automotive body repair work, but excluding those repairs
40made pursuant to a commercial business agreement and also
P4    1excluding repairing tires, changing tires,begin delete lubricating vehicles,end delete
2 installing light bulbs, batteries, windshield wiper blades and other
3minor accessories, cleaning, adjusting, and replacing spark plugs,
4replacing fan belts,begin delete oil, andend delete air filters, and other minor services,
5which the director, by regulation, determines are customarily
6performed by gasoline service stations.

7No service shall be designated as minor, for purposes of this
8section, if the director finds that performance of the service requires
9mechanical expertise, has given rise to a high incidence of fraud
10or deceptive practices, or involves a part of the vehicle essential
11to its safe operation.

12(f) “Person” includes firm, partnership, association, limited
13liability company, or corporation.

14(g) An “automotive technician” is an employee of an automotive
15repair dealer or is that dealer, if the employer or dealer repairs
16motor vehicles and who for salary or wage performs maintenance,
17diagnostics, repair, removal, or installation of any integral
18component parts of an engine, driveline, chassis or body of any
19vehicle, but excluding repairing tires, changing tires,begin delete lubricating
20vehicles,end delete
installing light bulbs, batteries, windshield wiper blades,
21and other minor accessories; cleaning, replacing fan belts,begin delete oil andend delete
22 air filters; and other minor services which the director, by
23regulation, determines are customarily performed by a gasoline
24service station.

25(h) “Director” means the Director of Consumer Affairs.

26(i) “Commercial business agreement” means an agreement,
27whether in writing or oral, entered into between a business or
28commercial enterprise and an automobile repair dealer, prior to
29the repair which is requested being made, which agreement
30contemplates a continuing business arrangement under which the
31automobile repair dealer is to repair any vehicle covered by the
32agreement, but does not mean any warranty or extended service
33agreement normally given by an automobile repair facility to its

35(j) “Customer” means the person presenting a motor vehicle for
36repair and authorizing the repairs to that motor vehicle. “Customer”
37shall not mean the automotive repair dealer providing the repair
38services or an insurer involved in a claim that includes the motor
39vehicle being repaired or an employee or agent or a person acting
40on behalf of the dealer or insurer.

P5    1

begin deleteSEC. 2.end delete
begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

Article 12 (commencing with Section 9890) is added
3to Chapter 20.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions
, to read:


6Article 12.  Oil Change


begin delete


(a) Prior to performing any work, an automotive repair
9dealer shall notify a customer purchasing an oil change of the
10recommended oil drain interval, oil grade, and viscosity specified
11in the maintenance schedule of the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

12(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), if the automotive
13repair dealer recommends the date or mileage for the next oil
14change, the automotive repair dealer shall follow the oil drain
15interval specified in the maintenance schedule of the vehicle’s
16owner’s manual when making that recommendation to the customer
17verbally, in the form of a window sticker, thorough settings in a
18vehicle’s oil sensor, or any other means.

19(c) If a customer chooses an oil for the oil change that has a
20recommended drain interval different from the oil drain interval
21specified in the maintenance schedule of the vehicle’s owner
22manual, the customer may choose to have that different drain
23interval used for purposes of subdivision (b).

end delete
begin insert

begin insert9890.end insert  

(a) Except as indicated in subdivision (b), if an
25automotive repair dealer performing oil change services
26recommends a date or mileage for an oil drain interval, the
27recommended date or mileage shall follow the vehicle
28manufacturer published maintenance schedule.

(b) If an automotive repair dealer recommends a date or mileage
30for an oil drain interval that deviates from the vehicle
31manufacturer’s published maintenance schedule for reasons,
32including, but not limited to, compliance with paragraph (c), the
33basis for the date or mileage recommendation shall be noted on
34the final invoice or on a document attached to the final invoice.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the
36customer from selecting any date or mileage for an oil drain
37interval of his or her choice and having that choice reflected on
38future recommendations from an automotive repair dealer.

(d) For purposes of this section, “recommended” or
40“recommendation” shall mean any written recommendation,
P6    1including, but not limited to, a recommendation of an oil drain
2interval in the form of a window sticker or a key tag, or through
3programmable settings in the vehicle’s oil life indicator.

(e) For purposes of this section, “recommended” or
5“recommendation” shall not mean resetting a preset or
6nonprogrammable oil life indicator or an oil life monitor based
7on a mathematical algorithm of the vehicle’s usage.

(f) When an automotive repair dealer performs an oil change
9service, the dealer shall include the following oil change disclosure
10statement on the final invoice or on a document attached to the
11final invoice:

“It is important to change your oil at the proper intervals. Your
14vehicle manufacturer publishes oil change intervals in your
15owner’s manual and on the manufacturer’s Web site.

end insert

begin deleteSEC. 3.end delete
begin insertSEC. 4.end insert  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
19Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
20the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
21district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
22infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
23for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
24the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
25the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California