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U.S. EPA Seeks to Revoke California’s Authority on Setting Emissions Standards

Today, Elaine Chao, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced their effort to revoke California’s authority on enforcing stricter fuel economy standards. The EPA originally granted California a preemption waiver in 2013 under the Clean Air Act. This waiver related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and zero emission vehicles (ZEV), however, California has taken the lead in setting the bar for national standards, preempting federal standards. The One National Program rule proposed today by Secretary Chao and Administrator Wheeler revokes that waiver, yet still allows California to enforce low emission vehicle standards and other air standards.

The Trump Administration was planning on a roll back of Obama-era fuel economy standards, and this issue finally came to a head when California recently engaged in a voluntary agreement with four automakers to adhere to the Obama-era standards. California has the largest auto market in the U.S.; therefore, automakers are more inclined to develop vehicles that adhere to California standards, regardless of whether they are stricter than the federal standard or not.

The One National Program rule “finalizes critical parts of the Safer, Affordable, Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule that was first proposed in August 2018.” The SAFE Vehicles Rule “proposed new and amended greenhouse gas emission (GHG) and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for model year 2021 to 2026 light duty vehicles…includ[ing] a ‘preferred alternative’ to lock-in the model year (MY) 2020 GHG/CAFE standards for model years 2021 – 2026.”

To view the press conference in its entirety, click here.

To view the U.S. EPA final rule and fact sheet, click here.

 

New Hampshire Legislature Sustains Veto on House Bill 664

Yesterday, the New Hampshire legislature held a special veto session where legislators reconsidered House Bill (HB) 664. HB 664  addresses original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures for collision repairs. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supported this legislation.

Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the HB 664 in August arguing that it would raise auto insurance premiums “by limiting the ability of insurers to negotiate what is reasonable in the repair process” and stagnate, what is, an already competitive market between small independent repair shops.

The New Hampshire legislature sustained Governor Sununu’s veto by a vote of 241 yeas and 132 nays, lacking the necessary two-thirds vote.

 

 

ASA Submits Letter to New Hampshire Legislature on HB 664

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) submitted a letter to New Hampshire legislators regarding House Bill (HB) 664. HB 664, addresses original equipment manufacturer procedures for collision repairs. ASA supports this legislation.

Governor Chris Sununu recently vetoed HB 664, however the bill is up for consideration in a special veto session.

 

Click here to read ASA’s NH HB 664 Letter.

ASA Submits Comments to Members of Congress on Vehicle Data Access

The Automotive Service Association submitted a letter to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), Ranking Minority Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee regarding bi-partisan and bi-cameral self driving/ autonomous vehicle legislation.

Click here to read the ASA AV Committee Letter.

NHTSA Proposes Study on Replacements for Rearview Mirrors

This morning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) filed to study replacing traditional outside rearview mirrors with camera-based systems. NHTSA said that the “visibility-related technologies depends on both the performance of the systems and on drivers’ ability to effectively and comfortably use the systems.” NHTSA will be examining drivers’ eye glance behavior and other aspects of driving behavior over the multi-year study. The full notice will be posted in the Federal Register tomorrow.

Click here to read the Drivers’ Use of Camera-Based Rear Visibility Systems Versus Traditional Mirrors Proposal.

ASA Signs on to U.S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition Letter

Last week the Automotive Service Association (ASA) signed on to the U.S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition’s letter regarding comments on bi-partisan and bi-cameral autonomous vehicle legislation to members of Congress.

Click here to read the U.S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition Letter.

 

 

Legislation Proposed in the U.S. Congress will Abolish the Federal Insurance Office

H.R. 1862 and S. 1586 will abolish the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The FIO is the first step in assuring the voices of collision repairers and consumers are heard.

Please fill out the form and click submit to oppose H.R. 1862 and S. 1586, the Federal Insurance Office Abolishment Act of 2019.

 

Trump Administration Nixes Autonomous Vehicle Committee

The Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT) within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) was first established in 2016. The Obama-era committee was created to “provide information, advice, and recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to the development and deployment of automated transportation systems and assess the state of departmental research, policy and regulatory support within this framework,” according to the DOT’s webpage. The committee was comprised of 25 members including executives from GM and Waymo, professors, and politicians involved within the transportation industry.

The ACAT met once in January 2017 prior to President Trump’s inauguration and was inactive in 2018. Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database, the DOT recommended that the committee be terminated and that “based on USDOT’s development and publication of AV 3.0 policies and principles, active stakeholder engagement is already underway. Therefore, the USDOT does have the ability to obtain broad stakeholders’ feedback on AV matters outside of the committee.”

To view the Committee Detail, click here.

CARB Announces Workgroup to Meet in August

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is holding a workgroup to discuss proposed adoption of a schedule of certification fees for aftermarket parts, retrofits, and emissions related components. Below is more information from CARB on the event:

 

This workgroup is directed towards the aftermarket parts, retrofit, and emissions related parts industry.  These manufacturers receive the following Executive Orders (EOs).

  • AB-series EOs, At-Berth Regulation Alternative Control Technology Verification/Approvals
  • B-series EOs, Alternative Fuel Retrofit Certifications
  • C-series EOs, Experimental Permits
  • D-series EOs, Aftermarket Parts Exemptions
  • DE-series EOs, Verification Of Diesel Emission Control Strategies, e.g., On/Off Road, SS, Harbor Craft, TRU, RTG
  • G-series EOs, Portable Fuel Containers
  • K-series EOs, Aftermarket Critical Emission Control Parts For Highway Motorcycles
  • Q-series EOs, Evaporative Components For Small Off-Road Engine Equipment
  • RM-series EOs, Evaporative Components For Spark-Ignition Marine Water Craft

 

The workgroup will be held at the time and place shown below.  You may participate in person or through webinar and conference call.
DATE:           Tuesday, August 13, 2019
TIME:            12:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Pacific Daylight Time
LOCATION:   California Air Resources Board

Annex 4 Auditorium
9530 Telstar Avenue
El Monte, California 91731

If you plan on participating by webinar and conference call, please register for the Certification Fee Aftermarket Parts and Retrofits workgroup through the link below.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You may also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap the one-touch number below to join instantly.)

United States: +1 (631) 992-3221 – One-touch:  tel:+16319923221,,491704525#

Access Code: 491-704-525

To register for the event, click here.

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