On July 1, Michigan State Sen. Joe Hune (R-22), chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, introduced Senate Bill 430, a bill that amends the insurance code to prohibit insurers from requiring automotive repairers to use a specific vendor or process to procure parts and other materials. If enacted, this legislation would effectively end all such requirements in current direct-repair program agreements for Michigan shops.
On August 19, 2014, Following Farmers Insurance’s decision to remove Most Favored Nation (Customer) clauses from insurer direct repair programs, Dan Risley, Automotive Service Association (ASA) president and executive director, sent a letter of thanks to Jeffrey Dailey, Farmers’ chief executive officer.Click here to read the full release. Click here to read the letter.
Cars Must Include Rear Vision Systems by May 2018
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) has finalized its new regulation requiring rear vision technology in all vehicles under 10,000 pounds. The new rule has a deadline for these systems to be in place of May 2018.
To read full release, click here.
WASHINGTON – Based on extensive input from the public and a broad range of stakeholders, including public health groups, auto manufacturers, refiners, and states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized emission standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution and prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive. These cleaner fuel and car standards are an important component of the administration’s national program for clean cars and trucks, which also include historic fuel efficiency standards that are saving new vehicle owners at the gas pump. Once fully in place, the standards will help avoid up to 2,000 premature deaths per year and 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children.
“These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our pocketbooks,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “By working with the auto industry, health groups, and other stakeholders, we’re continuing to build on the Obama Administration’s broader clean fuels and vehicles efforts that cut carbon pollution, clean the air we breathe, and save families money at the pump.”
The final standards will quickly and effectively cut harmful soot, smog and toxic emissions from cars and trucks. The Obama Administration’s actions to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases from these same vehicles will also result in average fuel savings of more than $8,000 by 2025 over a vehicle’s lifetime. The fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards covering model year vehicles from 2012-2025 are projected to save American families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.
Following a proven approach that addresses vehicles and fuels as an integrated system, today’s action will enable substantial pollution reductions at low cost. The standards slash emissions of a range of harmful pollutants that can cause premature death and respiratory illnesses, reducing standards for smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, establishing a 70 percent tighter particulate matter standard and virtually eliminating fuel vapor emissions. These standards will also reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene by up to 30 percent.
The final fuel standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent – down from 30 to 10 parts per million (ppm) in 2017. Reducing sulfur in gasoline enables vehicle emission control technologies to perform more efficiently. New low-sulfur gas will provide significant and immediate health benefits because every gas-powered vehicle on the road built prior to these standards will run cleaner – cutting smog-forming NOx emissions by 260,000 tons in 2018.
The Tier 3 standards cut tailpipe pollution where people live and breathe – reducing harmful emissions along the streets and roadways that run through our neighborhoods and near our children’s schools. By 2018, EPA estimates the cleaner fuels and cars program will annually prevent between 225 and 610 premature deaths, significantly reduce ambient concentrations of ozone and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 260,000 tons. That is about 10 percent of emissions from on-highway vehicles, with those reductions reaching 25 percent (330,000 tons) by 2030.
By 2030, EPA estimates that up to 2,000 premature deaths, 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children, 2,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits, and 1.4 million lost school days, work days and days when activities would be restricted due to air pollution. Total health-related benefits in 2030 will be between $6.7 and $19 billion annually. The program will also reduce exposure to pollution near roads. More than 50 million people live, work, or go to school in close proximity to high-traffic roadways, and the average American spends more than one hour traveling along roads each day.
The final standards are expected to provide up to 13 dollars in health benefits for every dollar spent to meet the standards, more than was estimated for the proposal. The sulfur standards will cost less than a penny per gallon of gasoline on average once the standards are fully in place. The vehicle standards will have an average cost of about $72 per vehicle in 2025. The standards support efforts by states to reduce harmful levels of smog and soot and aids their ability to attain and maintain science-based national ambient air quality standards to protect public health, while also providing flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.
EPA conducted extensive outreach with key stakeholders throughout the development of the rule, held two public hearings in Philadelphia and Chicago, and received more than 200,000 public comments. The final standards are based on input from a broad range of groups, including state and local governments, auto manufacturers, emissions control suppliers, refiners, fuel distributors and others in the petroleum industry, renewable fuels providers, health and environmental organizations, consumer groups, labor groups and private citizens.
The final standards will work together with California’s clean cars and fuels program to create a harmonized nationwide vehicle emissions program that enables automakers to sell the same vehicles in all 50 states. The standards are designed to be implemented over the same timeframe as the next phase of EPA’s national program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks beginning in model year 2017. Together, the federal and California standards will maximize reductions in GHGs, air pollutants and air toxics from cars and light trucks while providing automakers regulatory certainty, streamlining compliance, and reducing costs to consumers.
To meet the cleaner gasoline standards necessary to reduce tailpipe emissions and protect public health, the agency has built in flexibility and adequate time for refiners to comply. For those refineries that may need it, the program would provide nearly six years to meet the standards. To provide a smooth transition for refiners to produce cleaner gasoline, the program is structured in a way that allows the industry to plan any additional investments needed. In addition, the agency is giving special considerations to small refiners, while offering provisions for compliance assistance in the case of extreme hardship or unforeseen circumstances.
More information: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/tier3.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 6, 2014 – The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing on “The Federal Insurance Office’s Report on Modernizing Insurance Regulation.” The report was released in December 2013. The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) was established as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
To read the full release, click here.
For the archived subcommittee hearing, click here.
Redesign Improves Advocacy Tools for Repairers
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 27, 2013 – The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has provided independent repairers access to a web-based advocacy program at the federal and state levels for a number of years. After researching various online advocacy programs, ASA has been working to remodel its legislative and regulatory website, www.TakingTheHill.com. The new website is more user-friendly and designed to move information quickly to members and to policymakers. ASA members are encouraged to visit the newly designed site and sign up for free legislative alerts.
“With our Washington, D.C., office on Capitol Hill looking out for repairers, the industry looks to ASA for grassroots advocacy and information. Redesigning this site is one more step in the association’s commitment to provide members with the tools they need to stay informed and be heard on Capitol Hill,” said Angie Wilson, ASA’s vice president of marketing and communications.
The site was redesign by Autoshop Solutions, which recently redesigned ASA’s main website, www.ASAshop.org. “It was great working with the ASA team again, this time to launch the legislative website,” said Margaret Klemmer, vice president of operations at Autoshop Solutions. “We spent time collaborating with the ASA team in Washington to develop a site that provides a clean navigation and design with featured posts on the home page. We also brought the toolbox components front and center, making it easy for ASA members to take action on the site.”
The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.
ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.
About Autoshop Solutions
Autoshop Solutions is the largest Internet marketing agency dedicated exclusively to the automotive industry. Autoshop Solutions builds websites and specializes in all aspects of Internet marketing including paid search, SEO, e-mail marketing and social media for independent repair shops, collision shops, transmission shops and tire dealers across the country. Their websites have taken home AutoInc.’s Top 10 Website Awards for the past five years, including four awards in 2013. Its mission is to leverage user-friendly Web design and integrative inbound marketing to create more profitable, engaged and likable automotive companies large and small.
Contact: Kaitlyn Dwyer
For Release: Immediate
News Bulletin 13.29