Assemblymember Holden’s Bill to Protect Buyers at Used Car Lots
AB 265 Buy Here/Pay Here Dealerships Passes Key Committee
Pasadena – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill to regulate Buy Here/Pay Here used car lots passed its first legislative test today. The Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee voted 11 to 0 to support Holden’s AB 265 to rein in predatory car dealerships.
AB 265 would stop the widespread practice of yanking a car if you are late with a payment and before you know what’s hit you. The new measure requires a 10-day grace period before dealers are able to repossess the car by using a starter-interruption device to disable the car. The bill also calls for a final warning 48 hours before using the gadget to shut down the vehicle remotely.
“Dealers often target the working poor and rely on repeated re-selling of these high-priced vehicles to generate much of their revenue – often selling the same car over and over again,” said Holden. “AB 265 would provide added protection for these low-income purchasers and help level the playing field for car buyers by slowing down aggressive repossession of cars.”
Consumer groups have reported spotty enforcement of buy-here-pay-here regulations in California because investigations are costly and time consuming. This legislation addresses this problem and targets repeat offenders by permitting the stacking of fines for repeat violations. Not only will this address law enforcement costs but the increased penalties should serve as a deterrent to dealerships that look to abuse customers over and over again.
According to the National Alliance of Buy Here, Pay Here Dealers, the average dealer sold 610 cars in 2013 with an average profit of more than $4500. There are more than 33,000 dealerships across the country.
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