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COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT - page 13 / 29

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recovery of the involuntarily towed vehicle.  Thus, we disagree with Tocher that Vehicle Code section 22658 is merely a consumer protection statute . . . ."  (Servantes, at p. 1090.)After Servantes was decided, the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Columbus addressed the FAAAA's safety exception on the question of whether it could save local regulations from preemption.  (City of Columbus, supra, 536 U.S. 424 at pp. 428-429.)  In holding that the exception did apply to municipalities, the court declined to accept a narrow construction of the federal statute.  (Id. at p. 441.)  It reiterated that the safety exception "shields from preemption only 'safety regulatory authority. . . .  ' "  (Id. at p. 442.)  Thus, "[l]ocal regulation of prices, routes, or services of tow trucks that is not genuinely responsive to safety concerns garners no exemption from [49 U.S.C. section] 14501(c)(1)'s preemption rule."  (City of Columbus, at p. 442.)  City of Columbus disapproved several circuit court of appeals decisions, including Tocher, supra, 219 F.3d at page 1051, which had held municipal safety and insurance regulations were not encompassed within the FAAAA's safety exception, and were therefore preempted.  (See City of Columbus, supra, 536 U.S. at p. 431 [noting split among courts of appeal on the issue].)  

The Ninth Circuit has since reconsidered Tocher and further abrogated that decision, at least as to subdivision (l) of section 22658, based in part on the high court's construction of the safety exception in City of Columbus.  In Tillison v. City of San Diego, supra, 406 F.3d at p. 1131 (Tillison), the court concluded subdivision (l) of section 22658 was indeed safety related and thus not preempted by the FAAAA.  Tillison

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