Issues

ASA’s Washington Watch

On March 20, 2019, the Automotive Service Association hosted a webinar highlighting key legislative issues within the automotive industry, at the Federal and State levels, specifically covering Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures and vehicle safety inspections. Leading the conversation was ASA’s, Robert Redding, along with guest speakers Aaron Schulenburg, Executive Director at Society of Collision Repair Specialists, Thomas Tucker, Director of State Government Affairs at Auto Care Association, and Roy Littlefield, CEO at Tire Industry Association.

To view the webinar in its entirety, click here.

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U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Held a Hearing on Vehicle Technology and Drunk Driving

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing on “Enhancing Vehicle Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving”. In her opening statement, Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) stated, “we have addressed a number of auto safety issues over the years…[but] we have not really addressed the number one cause of death on America’s roadways – drunk driving.” Committee members discussed ignition interlock devices and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) research with the auto industry of new alcohol-detection technology.

Witnesses:

  • The Hon. Joan Claybrook, Board Member, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
  • Helen Witty, National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • David Kelly, Executive Director, Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers
  • Robert Strassburger, President & CEO, Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, Inc.

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

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New Hampshire House Bill 664 Passes House and Moves to Senate

This week the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed an amended House Bill (HB) 664, which addresses the issue of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures for collision repairs. The amendment specified that if a repair procedure from an OEM includes the need for additional operations such as pre- and post-scans, calibration, or diagnostic test of the vehicles systems, the insurer shall reimburse the repairer for those operations; however, it excludes glass repair and replacement when done by a glass company. The amendment also acknowledges paint and materials pricing used by repairers. The bill was passed by a floor vote of 202-105 and will move to the Senate for further action.

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House Republicans Send Letter to Energy and Commerce Committee (HECC) in Support of AV Legislation

This week U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH) sent House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. a letter requesting once again that the Committee take up self-driving vehicle legislation. Last Congress, the Committee put together a bipartisan bill, the SELF DRIVE Act, that passed in the House but, ultimately, failed to be considered on the Senate floor. The letter outlines the positive impact self-driving legislation would have to the American public including the potential to save lives, increase mobility for those without easy access to public transportation and maintaining international competitiveness.

To read the full letter sent to Chairman Pallone, click here.

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ASA Submits Comments in Support of New Hampshire House Bill 664

ASA submitted comments to the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Consumers Affairs in support of House Bill (HB) 664, addressing the issue of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures. HB 664 would require that “insurers shall reimburse a repairer for all repairs if a repairer follows original equipment manufacturer recommended collision repair procedures, recommendations, or service bulletins, while repairing a vehicle.” This bill seeks to ensure quality and safe repairs for the motoring public.

To view the full text of the comments sent to the Committee, click here.

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ASA Supports Connecticut OEM Repair Procedure Legislation Amendment Proposed for Bill

This week the Connecticut Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate held a public hearing on House Bill 7266, addressing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures for collision repairs. The ASA supports this legislation and has submitted comments to the Committee including a proposed amendment. The amendment assures no insurer shall condition payment of a claim to the insured or to any person conducting a collision repair based upon the utilization of any repair procedure or specification that does not confirm to the original manufacturer’s repair procedures. Additionally, it is critical that pre- and post-scans are part of the repair processes as this is more important than ever with emerging vehicle technologies. This will ensure that the State of Connecticut has done as much as possible to protect consumers, small businesspersons, and the motoring public.

To view the full letter to the Joint Committee on Insurance and Real Estate, click here.

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Auto Associations Oppose Missouri Legislation Eliminating Vehicle Safety Inspections

The Automotive Service Association (ASA), Auto Care Association (ACA), and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) have joined to oppose Missouri House Bill 451 that would repeal the requirement that all motor vehicles must obtain an inspection before the vehicle may be licensed. The ASA, ACA, and TIA all support periodic motor vehicle inspections, as it enhances safety and prevents injuries to the motoring public. Regular safety inspections by a qualified technician can identify and repair most safety issues that can arise from normal wear and tear on a vehicle. Without a vehicle safety inspection program in place, these normal wear and tear issues will go unnoticed and put the motoring public at risk.

To read statements from the ASA, ACA, and TIA, click here.

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Wyoming Aftermarket Crash Parts Bill Passes in Senate

On January 15, 2019 Sen. Tara Nethercott (R-04) introduced SF0095, a bill that would negatively impact collision repairers and consumers relative to aftermarket crash parts. This bill has already passed the Wyoming State Senate and is now being considered by the Wyoming House of Representatives. This bill raises important issues that require more debate, coupled with the dramatic change it poses to collision-consumer shop marketplace.

ASA encourages Wyoming collision repairers to contact their state legislators and ask that they oppose Aftermarket Parts Bill SF0095.

To see the full text of the ASA Press Release, click here.

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President Trump to Nominate Nicole Nason as Head of FHWA

On January 3, 2019 the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) received the request from President Donald Trump to nominate Nicole Nason as the head of the Federal Highway Administration.

Since the inception of President Trump’s Administration this seat has been left vacant. Ms. Nason, who has extensive experience in the White House and in Congress, is described as the “right person for the job” from EPW Chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). Ms. Nason is currently the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Administration and has previously served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Overseas Building Operations and as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State. Last week Sen. Barrasso called on the full committee to move forward with her nomination.

To read Senator Barrasso’s comments, click here.

 

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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Increase Eligibility for Overtime Pay

On March 7, 2019 the U.S. Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to make more than a million Americans eligible for overtime pay. Under current law, Americans making $455 per week (23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work over 40 hours a week. The proposal would be updating the 2004 rule and increase that salary threshold from $455 to $679 per week ($35,308 annually) bringing higher wages to Americans.

As proposed, the rule would:

  • Increase the minimum salary required for an employee to qualify for exemption from the currently-enforced level of $455 to $679 per week (equivalent to $35,308 per year).
  • The proposal increases the total annual compensation requirement for “highly compensated employees” (HCE) from the currently-enforced level of $100,000 to $147,414 per year.
  • Commit to periodic review to update the salary threshold. An update would continue to require notice-and-comment rulemaking.
  • Allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid annually or more frequently to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level.
  • Not change overtime protections for:
    • Police Officers
    • Fire Fighters
    • Paramedics
    • Nurses
    • Laborers including: non-management production-line employees
    • Non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, and construction workers
  • Not change to the job duties test.
  • Not make automatic adjustments to the salary threshold.

The proposal is now open for public comment and will remain open for public comment for 60 days. To submit a comment, click this link, in the rule-making docket RIN 1235-AA20.

More information about the rule can be seen here.

 

 

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