MEMA, AASA to Call for Aftermarket Exemption From California’s Proposition 65

Research Triangle Park, N.C. – The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) will request an explicit exemption from warning requirements for all of the aftermarket replacement and service parts included in California’s proposed reforms of Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, in its testimony at a public hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

“We are requesting this exemption because replacement parts have an extremely long shelf life. Many replacement parts that are manufactured today – prior to the change in Proposition 65 requirements – could be on service and repair shop shelves for several years, even decades,” said Bill Long, president and chief operating officer of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light-vehicle aftermarket division of MEMA.

“MEMA is urging California regulators to provide clarity and consistency for the businesses that must comply with Proposition 65 requirements,” said Steve Handschuh, MEMA president and chief executive officer. “The draft regulations leave too much uncertainty for businesses, leaving them open to increased liability risks.”

MEMA also is requesting that the California Office of Environment Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) clarify what chemical listings are required in the warnings. The current proposed wording is unclear and could potentially be construed as requiring that the listing contain all the Proposition 65 chemicals for which the product is required to warn.

“Not only would this be extremely costly and unreasonably burdensome for the motor vehicle supplier industry, it would be virtually impossible given the industry’s complex supply chain,” Long said.

Proposition 65 aims to protect California citizens and the state’s drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. Companies that do business in California are “required to provide a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical.”

Proposition 65 requires the governor to publish a list of substances known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The list must be revised once a year. Currently, the Proposition 65 list includes more than 800 chemicals.

MEMA will testify on the proposed rule in Sacramento on Jan. 13 and submit written comments prior to the deadline of Friday, Jan. 22.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.