Auto Club Urges Assembly To Side With Consumers On 'Key Code' Bill

The California Assembly is expected to vote again soon on Senate Bill 750 (Hernandez), which is sponsored by BMW and opposed by the Automobile Club of Southern California.  The bill would permanently exempt BMW from a California law that requires manufacturers to provide vehicle owners safe and secure options to conveniently and quickly obtain replacement keys when their key is lost, stolen, or broken. 
 
SB 750 would benefit BMW at the expense of California motorists and allow the company to withhold from car owners data needed to access and operate their vehicle.
 
“During a recent vote on SB 750 in the California Assembly, many legislators refused to vote for the special interest bill despite pressure from BMW and car dealers,” said Steve Finnegan, the Auto Club’s government affairs manager. “The Auto Club applauds their courage and their willingness to stand up for California consumers. And we encourage them to stand firm if and when the legislation is reconsidered this month.”
 
The Auto Club-sponsored “key code” law, which took effect in 2008, requires vehicle manufacturers to securely share information with pre-screened and approved locksmiths enabling the locksmiths to create duplicate car keys at a vehicle owner’s request 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Manufacturers used to keep this information secret, even from the vehicle’s owner, so instead of being able to authorize a locksmith to make a replacement key, the owner had to have the car towed and wait – sometimes for days – for the manufacturer to authorize a replacement.
 
Because of the “key code” law, auto manufacturers have established a secure database that provides information to independent locksmiths whenever they need to replace a car key. That database is used not just in California, but nationwide by almost all auto makers – foreign and domestic.
 
“However, BMW, which received five extra years to come into compliance with the law, is now seeking a permanent exemption,” said Steve Finnegan. “We don’t think that’s fair to BMW owners, who currently must wait a day or more to have a replacement key shipped to them, or to the other vehicle manufacturers that have done the right thing and complied with the key code law.
 
“SB 750 is special interest legislation that runs contrary to California’s long history of consumer protection,” said Steve Finnegan.  “We thank the California Assembly members who did not support this special-interest bill last month and are urging them to do the right thing again and continue standing firm against SB 750,” Finnegan added. 
 
The following Assembly Members did not vote for SB 750 in June:
 
Assembly Member Luis Alejo
Assembly Member Michael Allen
Assembly Member Tom Ammiano
Assembly Member Toni Atkins
Assembly Member Jim Beall
Assembly Member Bill Berryhill
Assembly Member Marty Block
Assembly Member Robert Blumenfield
Assembly Member Susan Bonilla
Assembly Member Steven Bradford
Assembly Member Julia Brownley
Assembly Member Joan Buchanan
Assembly Member Betsy Butler
Assembly Member Nora Campos
Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter
Assembly Member Gil Cedillo
Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro
Assembly Member Paul Cook
Assembly Member Mike Davis
Assembly Member Roger Dickinson
Assembly Member Mike Feuer
Assembly Member Nathan Fletcher
Assembly Member Paul Fong
Assembly Member Warren Furutani
Assembly Member Beth Gaines
Assembly Member Mike Gatto
Assembly Member Jeff Gorell
Assembly Member Shannon Grove
Assembly Member Linda Halderman
Assembly Member Diane Harkey
Assembly Member Alyson Huber
Assembly Member Ben Hueso
Assembly Member Jared Huffman
Assembly Member Ricardo Lara
Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal
Assembly Member Fiona Ma
Assembly Member Holly Mitchell
Assembly Member William Monning
Assembly Member Jim Nielsen
Assembly Member Kristin Olsen
Assembly Member Richard Pan
Assembly Member Henry Perea
Assembly Speaker John A. Prez
Assembly Member V. Manuel Prez
Assembly Member Anthony Portantino
Assembly Member Nancy Skinner
Assembly Member Cameron Smyth
Assembly Member Norma Torres
Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski
Assembly Member Das Williams
Assembly Member Mariko Yamada
 
The Auto Club urges the following legislators, who initially supported SB 750, to reconsider and vote “NO” if and when the measure is reheard in the Assembly.
 
Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian
Assembly Member Charles Calderon
Assembly Member Connie Conway
Assembly Member Tim Donnelly
Assembly Member Mike Eng
Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes
Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani
Assembly Member Martin Garrick
Assembly Member Richard Gordon
Assembly Member Curt Hagman
Assembly Member Isadore Hall
Assembly Member Mary Hayashi
Assembly Member Roger Hernndez
Assembly Member Jerry Hill
Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries
Assembly Member Brian Jones
Assembly Member Stephen Knight
Assembly Member Dan Logue
Assembly Member Allan Mansoor
Assembly Member Tony Mendoza
Assembly Member Jeff Miller
Assembly Member Mike Morrell
Assembly Member Brian Nestande
Assembly Member Chris Norby
Assembly Member Jim Silva
Assembly Member Jose Solorio
Assembly Member Sandre Swanson
Assembly Member David Valadao
Assembly Member Donald Wagner
 

Media Contacts

Marie Montgomery
(714) 885-2333
Montgomery.Marie@aaa-calif.com