California Code of Regulations
TITLE 16. Professional And Vocational Regulations
Division 33.1 Arbitration Certification Program
Article 1: Definitions
(a) "Applicable law" means the portions of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (Civil Code Sections 1790-1795.7) that pertain to express and implied warranties and remedies for breach; the portions of Division 2 (commencing with Section 2101) of the Commercial Code that pertain to express and implied warranties and remedies for breach; the portions of Sections 43204, 43205 and 43205.5 of the Health and Safety Code that pertain to automobile emissions warranties; Chapter 9 of Division 1 of the Business and Professions Code, pertaining to certification of dispute resolution processes, and this subchapter.
(b) "Applicant" means a manufacturer seeking certification of an arbitration program sponsored and used by the manufacturer, or an arbitration program and a manufacturer jointly seeking certification of an arbitration program used by the manufacturer.
(c) "Arbitration program" means a "dispute resolution process," as that term is used in Civil Code Sections 1793.22 (c)-(d) and 1794(e), and Business and Professions Code Section 472, established to resolve disputes involving written warranties on new motor vehicles. The term includes an "informal dispute settlement procedure," as that term is used in Section 703.1(e) of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, established to resolve disputes involving written warranties on new motor vehicles. The term includes an "informal dispute settlement mechanism," as that term is used in 15 U.S.C. 2310(a)(1), and an informal dispute settlement procedure," as that term is used in Section 703.1(e) of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, established to resolve disputes involving written warranties on new motor vehicles. The term includes those components of a program for which the manufacturer has responsibilities under Article 2 of this subchapter.
(d) "Arbitrator" means the person or persons within an arbitration program who actually decide disputes.
(e) "Arbitration Certification Program" means the Arbitration Certification Program of the Department of Consumer Affairs
(f) "Certification" means a determination by the Arbitration Certification Program, made pursuant to this subchapter, that an arbitration program is in substantial compliance with Civil Code Section 1793.22(d), Chapter 9 of Division 1 of the Business and Professions Code, and this subchapter.
(g) "Consumer" means any individual who buys or leases a new motor vehicle from a person (including any entity) engaged in the business of manufacturing, distributing, selling, or leasing new motor vehicles at retail. The term includes a lessee for a term exceeding four months, whether or not the lessee bears the risk of the vehicle's depreciation. The term includes any individual to whom the vehicle is transferred during the duration of a written warranty or under applicable state law to enforce the obligations of the warranty. The name of the registered owner or class of motor vehicle registration does not by itself determine the purpose or use.
(h) "Days" means calendar days unless otherwise stated.
(i) "Independent automobile expert" means an expert in automotive mechanics who is certified in the pertinent area by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NIASE). The expert may be a volunteer, or may be paid by the arbitration program or the manufacturer for his or her services, but in all other respects shall be in both fact and appearance independent of the manufacturer.
(j) "Manufacturer" means a new motor vehicle manufacturer, manufacturer branch, distributor or distributor branch, required to be licensed pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 11700) of Chapter 4 of Division 5 of the Vehicle Code, or any other person (including any entity) actually making a written warranty on a new motor vehicle.
(k) "New motor vehicle" means a new motor vehicle which is used or bought for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes. “New motor vehicle” also means a new motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds that is bought or used primarily for business purposes by a person, including a partnership, limited liability company, corporation, association, or any other legal entity, to which not more that five motor vehicles are registered in this state. The term includes a dealer-owned vehicle, a "demonstrator," and any other motor vehicle sold or leased with a manufacturer's new car warranty. The term does not include a motorcycle, or a motor vehicle which is not registered under the Vehicle Code because it is to be operated or used exclusively off the highways. The term "new motor vehicle" also includes the chassis and chassis cab of the motor home, and that portion of a motor home devoted to its propulsion, but does not include any portion of a motor home designed, used or maintained primarily for human habitation. A "motor home" is a vehicular unit built on, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, chassis cab or van, which becomes an integral part of the completed vehicle, designed for human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy. A "demonstrator" is a vehicle assigned by a dealer for the purpose of demonstrating qualities and characteristics common to vehicles of the same or similar model and type.
(l) "Nonconformity" means any defect, malfunction or failure to conform to the written warranty.
(m) "Substantial nonconformity" means any defect, malfunction or failure to conform to the written warranty which substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the new motor vehicle to the consumer.
(n) "Written warranty" means either:
(1) any written affirmation of fact or written promise made by a manufacturer to a consumer in connection with the sale or lease of a new motor vehicle which relates to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirms or promises that such material or workmanship is defect-free or will meet a specified level of performance over a specified period of time;
(2) any undertaking in writing made by a manufacturer to a consumer in connection with the sale or lease of a new motor vehicle to refund, repair, replace, or take other remedial action with respect to the vehicle in the event that the vehicle fails to meet the specifications set forth in the undertaking, which written affirmation, promise or undertaking becomes part of the basis of the bargain.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 472, et seq., 472.1(b) and 472.4(f) Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 1791(a), (b) and (g), 1791.2, 1793.2(a)-(d), 1793.22(b), 1794 and 1795.4, Civil Code; Sections 472(b), 472.1(c), 472.2(b), Business and Professions Code; 15 USC 2304(a); and 16 CFR Sections 701(d), 703.1(f) and (g).