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OEHHA Proposes Clear and Reasonable Warnings for Rental Cars

California’s Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed new guidance for providing clear and reasonable warnings for rental cars. Sections 25607.36 and 25607.37 would offer specific information regarding the content of safe harbor warnings for rental car exposures and the methods that rental car companies should utilize to issue those warnings. The deadline for public comments is April 22, 2019.

OEHHA provides tailored safe harbor warnings for exposures to listed chemicals from vehicles purchased for consumer use under Section 25607.16 and 25607.17. Warnings for vehicle exposure must: (i) be printed in the owner’s manual for the passenger vehicle or off-highway motor vehicle in at least 12-point type in a box and affixed to the front or back cover of the manual or on the first page of the manual’s text; and (ii) be provided on a label affixed to the front window on the driver’s side of the passenger vehicle or off-highway motor vehicle (or another visible location if not on the driver’s side window).

However, OEHHA has determined that these warnings methods may not be sufficient for rental cars. OEHHA specifically expressed concerns that a tailored warning identifying the vehicle as a rental car could present public safety concerns by, for example, inadvertently inviting auto burglaries. To account for other concerns directly related to rental cars, the proposed regulation offers several options for issuing rental vehicle warnings.

The content requirements for rental vehicle exposures largely mirror those in 25607.17, but the methods of transmission for providing safe harbor warnings differ substantially. Subsection (a) states that a warning must be provided before the renter’s use of the vehicle. The warning must be displayed in a font size no smaller than the largest font size used for other consumer information as defined in Section 25600.1(d) but in any case, should not be smaller than 6-point type. Finally, the warning must be provided through one of the following methods:

  • Printed in the rental agreement or on the rental ticket jacket;
  • Printed on a hang tag situated on the rear-view mirror;
  • Printed on a sign posted on the counter or another prominent area;
  • Provided in an electronic rental contract;
  • Provided in a confirmation email; or
  • Provided in a clearly marked hyperlink using the word “WARNING” on the reservation page.

OEHHA believes that the proposed regulations regarding the content and method of transmission for rental car businesses to issue warnings to their customers will help promote compliance with Proposition 65 without identifying the vehicles as rental car, which could create  safety concerns.

Grimaldi Law Offices has been advising clients for over 20 years on chemical and product law. For knowledgeable advice and in-depth analysis on your Proposition 65 compliance obligations, contact Grimaldi Law Offices at (415) 463-5186 or email us at [email protected].

Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.