On May 28, SB 98 passed Committee by a vote of 7-5.  This bill (1) would enact the California Car Buyers Protection Act of 2009.  This bill increases from $50,000 to $100,000 the bond required of a vehicle dealer for issuance or renewal of a dealer’s license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); (2) provides that a person who bought or leased a vehicle or motorcycle and who suffers any loss or damage related to the purchase or lease by reason of any fraud or contract or statutory violation in connection with the purchase or lease will have a right of  action against the dealer and the dealer’s bond for actual damages plus any incidental and consequential  damages; (3) prioritizes claims against a dealer’s bond as follows: (a) DMV claims (unpaid license and registration fees and sales taxes); (b) claims of any person who purchased or leased a vehicle or motorcycle; and claims by the financing agency and any other persons or entities; (4) provides that, if a dealer acquires a used vehicle with a balance due to a secured party (financing agency or lender), the dealer must submit to the DMV evidence in the form of a notarized receipt from the secured party that the dealer has paid off the entire balance prior to transferring the vehicle, or prior to the date when payment is due, whichever occurs first; (5) makes it unlawful for a dealer to sell or transfer a used vehicle with a balance due to a secured party prior to paying off the entire balance and submitting the notarized receipt to the DMV; and (6) makes failure to comply with the above two provisions regarding dealer pay offs unlawful under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act as an unfair or deceptive act or practice. SB-95 Analysis The Bill has now moved over the Assembly for a first read. SB 96 Senate Analysis 5.28.09 You can review the entire history and subscribe for notices from the Legislature regarding the Bill at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_95&sess=CUR&house=B&search_type=email