California Bill to Amend 2018 Exhaust Noise Law Signed by Governor

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SEMA-supported legislation (SB 112) that immediately restores “fix-it” tickets for cars suspected of violating the state’s exhaust noise limit and allows car owners 30 days to correct violations. SB 112 amends a 2018 law (AB 1824), which removed this ability and generated significant concern within the specialty automotive aftermarket industry and enthusiast community.

“On behalf of the more than 1,700 SEMA-member companies in California, SEMA thanks Gov. Newsom for signing this critical legislation into law,” said Daniel Ingber, SEMA’s vice president for legal and government affairs. “With his signature, Gov. Newsom restored due process for motorists in the Golden State.”

SB 112, a budget implementation (trailer) bill, includes text drawn from SEMA-sponsored AB 390, which was authored by Assembly Members Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) and Tim Grayson (D-Concord) in early 2019. Under normal legislative procedure, AB 390 would not have been implemented until January 2020. SB 112 is effective immediately.

SB 112 was championed in the legislature by Assembly Members Grayson, Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Oceanside), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Phil Chen (R-Diamond Bar) and Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles).

Since 2003, exhaust systems installed on motor vehicles in California with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 6,000 lbs., other than motorcycles, may not exceed a sound level of 95 decibels when tested under a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) procedure. SB 112 does not change this.