The Arbitration Certification Program's Mandates

The Department of Consumer Affairs' Arbitration Certification Program (ACP) certifies and monitors third-party arbitration programs of participating automobile manufacturers to ensure compliance with California laws and regulations governing resolution of warranty disputes involving new/used vehicles purchased with the manufacturer's new-car warranty. The ACP also ensures that certified programs conduct dispute resolution in a fair and expeditious manner. One of the program's goals is to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution, in lieu of court action, to reduce the strain and cost on consumers and the court system. The ACP is mandated by California Business and Professions Code Sections 472 - 472.5 to perform the following:

  • Establish a program for certifying manufacturer's third-party dispute resolution processes for the arbitration of warranty disputes.
  • Prescribe and provide forms for applicants to use when applying for certification.
  • Establish minimum standards to determine whether a third-party dispute resolution process is in substantial compliance with certification requirements.
  • Prescribe information that the third-party dispute resolution process must submit to the ACP so that the ACP can determine whether the process continues to substantially comply with California's laws and regulations.
  • Conduct a survey of consumers who complete the arbitration process to measure customer satisfaction.
  • Submit a biennial report to the Legislature on the effectiveness of certified arbitration programs in general.
  • Adopt regulations as necessary and appropriate to implement applicable California laws.