After new data revealed that Takata air bags in certain Honda and Acura vehicles have a 50 percent chance of rupture in a crash, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) are calling on Honda to immediately issue a “do not drive” order to owners vehicles with these dangerous air bags. In a letter to Honda, the Senators urged Honda to take the strongest possible action to ensure that vehicles with such air bags are immediately removed from the road before more people are killed. They also called on the company to take additional measures to make it as easy as possible for owners of these vehicles to have this dangerous defect repaired, without having to drive the vehicle to a dealership. To see the full text of the letter, click here.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) today announced the adoption of a methodology for monitoring the affordability of automobile insurance. Title V of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act authorizes FIO to monitor the extent to which traditionally underserved communities and consumers, minorities, and low- and moderate-income persons have access to affordable insurance products regarding all lines of insurance other than health insurance. For more information, click here.
The sale of automotive refrigerant is regulated in California, and retailers must ensure that all requirements pertaining to the sales of certified products are met. In addition, distributors handling this product have regulatory requirements to meet as well. Penalties may be assessed for a violation of this regulation pursuant to the Health and Safety Code. To view the exact requirements for California retailers, please click here.
In two related settlements, one with the United States and the State of California, and one with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), German automaker Volkswagen AG and related entities have agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers. Volkswagen will offer consumers a buyback and lease termination for nearly 500,000 model year 2009-2015 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold or leased in the U.S., and spend up to $10.03 billion to compensate consumers under the program. In addition, the companies will spend $4.7 billion to mitigate the pollution from these cars and invest in green vehicle technology.
For more information, click here.
WASHINGTON – Preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 7.7 percent increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from the 32,675 reported fatalities in 2014.
“Every American should be able to drive, ride or walk to their destination safely, every time,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are analyzing the data to determine what factors contributed to the increase in fatalities and at the same time, we are aggressively testing new safety technologies, new ways to improve driver behavior, and new ways to analyze the data we have, as we work with the entire road safety community to take this challenge head-on.” Read more here.
WASHINGTON – New test data on a particular subset of defective Takata air bag inflators in certain model-year 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles show a far higher risk of ruptures during air bag deployment, prompting an urgent call from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that unrepaired vehicles in this population are found and fixed before they cause further injuries or fatalities.
“With as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.”
See the full release here.
Yesterday, June 16th, Governor Rick Snyder vetoed House Bill 4344, which, among other provisions, would require all replacement parts to meet a verifiable OEM quality standard.
To see the Governor’s letter accompanying the veto, please click here.
The legislation allows states to pursue cost-effective and practical implementation of EPA’s ozone standards. Under the Clean Air Act’s NAAQS program, the EPA sets standards for criteria pollutants, including ground-level ozone. EPA initially established ozone standards in 1971, and subsequently revised them in 1979, 1997, and 2008. Unfortunately, EPA did not publish implementing regulations for the 2008 standards until March 2015, and states are just beginning to implement those standards. Because EPA then revised these standards in October 2015, states now face the prospect of simultaneously implementing two ozone standards.
Further, states are increasingly confronting other challenges under the statutory construct of the NAAQS implementation program. These challenges range from the agency’s failure to issue timely implementation regulations and guidance when standards are revised, to specific issues relating to foreign emissions or exceptional events, provisions in the statute that have been interpreted to require states to pursue measures that may not be technologically or economically feasible, and the current statutory requirement that EPA review all NAAQS no later than every 5 years.
For more information, click here.
On May 25th, 2016, Michigan Senator Kenneth Horn (R-32) introduced Senate Bill 998 which, if implemented, would exempt mechanics and repair shops from liability when fixing automated vehicles. The bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Economic Development and International Investment for further consideration.
On May 13th, 2016, New York Assembly Member William Colton (D-47) introduced A 10157, a bill to incentivize the used of collision avoidance systems through a discount on insurance. Specifically, any schedule or rating plan for non-commercial private passenger automobile insurance will be required to provide for 10% reduction in premium charges for comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection and medical payment coverage with respect to any insured vehicle equipped with a collision avoidance system. To read the full text of the bill, click here.