SB 970, c. 667
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SB 970, c. 667: Rental vehicles. Allows a rental vehicle’s fuel gauge that was installed by the vehicle’s manufacturer to be used in a rental transaction by a rental company to calculate an optional charge for fueling if specified conditions are met.
The source of this bill was an "unofficial coalition of rnetal car companies": the Avis Budget Car Rental , the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, the Enterprise Rent-a-Car, The Hertz Corporation, and Vanguard Car Rental USA (Alamo and National). The bill was also supported by the California Alliance for Consumer Protection.
The bill was introduced to clarify that a fuel gauge in a motor vehicle is not considered a "measuring instrument" as defined under the Weights and Measures Law. The sponsors state that most automobile rental companies offer their customers several optional means of paying for the fuel they use during the course of a vehicle rental.
One of the common options is to charge customers for the estimated amount of fuel used. The estimate is based on either a company employee's reading or on the customer's own report of the vehicle's fuel gauge. According to the sponsors, this is a popular option for customers, particularly for those who are catching an airplane or meeting other scheduled obligations.
The purpose of the bill is to clarify the inapplicability of certain technical provisions of the Weights and Measures Law which have not traditionally been applied to this practice.
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