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OEM Repair Procedures Bill Introduced in New York

On May 31, 2019, Assembly Bill 8050 was introduced in the New York General Assembly, which requires compliance with collision repair guidelines and service bulletins issued by vehicle or original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and forbids insurance companies from requiring repair shops to deviate from those guidelines without the written consent of the vehicle owner. Additionally, if an OEM repair procedure requires scans or a diagnostic test of the vehicle, it will be considered as part of the repair procedure.

ASA supports OEM repair procedure legislation and AB 8050. Following OEM repair procedure guidelines not only ensures that the vehicle is being repaired efficiently but ensures the best opportunity for safety for the motoring public. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly’s Insurance Committee.

To read more about the bill, click here.

Missouri Anti-Vehicle Safety Inspection Language Added to Additional Legislation

Missouri State Representative J. Eggleston introduced House Bill 451, that would have repealed the requirement that motor vehicles be inspected before being licensed. This bill would have eliminated a program that is specifically designed to protect the motoring public. This legislation passed the Missouri House of Representatives but failed to make it to the Missouri Senate floor for a final vote.

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.

While House Bill 451 died in the Senate, two additional bills saw language added that dilute the vehicle safety inspection. Senate Bill 89 and Senate Bill 147 have been sent to Missouri Governor Michael Parson for signature.

The Automotive Service Association urges Missouri repairers and vehicle owners to contact Governor Parson’s office. To oppose these bills and for them not to be signed into law.

Call Governor Parson’s office at (573) 751-3222 or email his office here.

U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce holds Hearing on Summer Driving Dangers and Vehicle Technologies

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce convened a hearing entitled, “Summer Driving Dangers: Exploring Ways to Protect Drivers and Their Families.” In her opening statement, Chairwoman Schakowsky (D-IL) stated that the Subcommittee seeks to explore safety technologies to be put in vehicles to further reduce human error and prevent fatalities, as well as announcing the reintroduction of the HOT CARS Act, with Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Congressman Pete King (R-NY).

The HOT CARS Act was initially introduced last Congress and died in the U.S. House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. The legislation would “direct the Department of Transportation to issue a rule to require that all new passenger motor vehicles…be equipped with a system for rear seating positions to alert (by an auditory and visual alert that may be combined with a haptic alert) the motor vehicle operator to check rear designated seating positions after the vehicle motor is deactivated.”

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), stated that 94% of vehicular accidents are due to human error and distraction. In a memorandum to the subcommittee, it is noted that “heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non-crash related fatalities…the number of deaths [due to heatstroke] peaked last year to 52”. Legislation such as the HOT CARS Act, and the deployment of autonomous vehicles, seeks to further eliminate human error and utilize advanced driving assistance technologies to increase the safety of vehicles and the motoring public.

Witnesses:

  • Janette Fennell, President and Founder, KidsAndCars.org
  • Miles Harrison, Father of Chase Harrison
  • Jason Levine, Executive Director, Center for Auto Safety
  • Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

U.S. House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on the Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission

On May 8, 2019, the Chairman and four Commissioners from the Federal Trade Commission testified in front the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the FTC: Strengthening Protections for Americans’ Privacy and Data Security.” The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive practices, however, as Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) pointed out in his opening statement, the “FTC has fewer employees today than it did in the 1980’s when the Internet did not exist. It has just over 40 employees responsible for protecting the data of 300 million Americans.” Chairman Pallone, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), all echo similar sentiments in their opening statements acknowledging the need to pass comprehensive consumer privacy legislation, and working with the FTC to learn how Congress can assist the FTC with increasing resources and in fulfilling their mission of better protecting consumer data privacy, competition, and innovation.

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

California Department of Insurance holds Hearing on How Automobile Insurance Groups Affect Driver Premiums

On Tuesday September 17, 2019, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will hold a hearing in Los Angeles to learn how insurers’ use “affinity group” criteria, such as occupation or education level, to set automobile insurance rates. California’s insurance code “permits insurers to issue insurance coverage on a group basis; however, the rates charged for any group insurance are also required to comply with other applicable California laws.” Commissioner Lara has received complaints that drivers with similar driving characteristics are receiving different automobile group rates due to affinity group criteria.

To view the press release from the California Department of Insurance, click here.

To view the Notice for the hearing, click here.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Proposes Research on Driver Interactions with ADAS Technologies

Motor vehicle technology is becoming more sophisticated, and it is common to see vehicles that include advanced driver assistant technologies. These technologies include cruise control, lane keeping assistance, automatic emergency brakes, etc. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that these technologies “have the potential to dramatically reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and associated economic costs” that can be related with human error while driving. The implementation of these technologies in vehicles is highly dependent on the driver understanding the functions of the systems.

NHTSA has proposed to research drivers’ interactions with certain advanced driver assistance technologies. As part of the research, NHTSA is collecting information from the public to learn about drivers use and interactions with this technology, as well as an on-road driving experiment in which participants, those with and without experience using driver assistance systems, will engage driver assistance technologies.

 

To view the entire notice and instructions on submitting comments, click here.

NHTSA Drops Proposed Rule on Brake-Throttle Override Systems

This week Reuters reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “will drop rules that were first proposed in 2012 that would have required automakers to install brake-throttle override systems to prevent runaway vehicles.”

NHTSA determined that the rule was no longer necessary as automakers have voluntarily installed these systems in vehicles and don’t anticipate automakers removing this system.

To view the proposed rule, click here.

Democrats Introduce Legislation for Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2040

Today, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and U.S. Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2019, that would make all new car sales zero-emissions vehicles by 2040. Senator Merkley and Congressman Levin are the lead sponsors on the bill. The legislation has already garnered support in both the House and Senate.

To view Senator Merkley’s remarks, click here.

To view Congressman Levin’s remarks, click here.

ASA Discusses Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection Programs & OEM Repair Procedures

During the Automotive Service Association’s Annual Business Meeting & Conference, Bob Redding, ASA Washington, D.C. representative, sat down with Tom Piippo, AMAM, Mechanical Division Director, and Scott Benavidez, AAM, former Collision Division Director, and the current ASA Secretary/Treasurer, to discuss the importance of Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection Programs and OEM repair procedures.

To view the video on Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection Programs, click here.

To view the video on OEM repair procedures, click here.

U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee holds Hearing on Automobile Loans and Insurance Industries

On May 1, 2019 Chairman Al Green (D-TX), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, convened a hearing entitled, “Examining Discrimination in the Automobile Loan and Insurance Industries.” In a memorandum to the subcommittee, the Financial Services Committee Majority Staff provided background information on the issue, stating, “auto loan debt is the third largest category of household debt, after mortgages and student loans. Nearly all American households own at least one vehicle, and most Americans must borrow money in order to purchase a car. Auto borrowing varies by income, age, and state.” As vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, it makes sense that their price tag would reflect those technological advancements. A monetary increase of any product has the propensity to impact any American family; research unveiled in the memorandum highlights that non-white borrowers were charged significantly more than white consumers. The memorandum also noted that due to a lack of data collection of discriminatory practices in auto finance, it is difficult to make any significant progress in abetting the issue. Opening statements from Committee Members highlight that it is unacceptable that there is discrimination in this industry.

Witnesses:

  • John W. Van Alst, Attorney, National Consumer Law Center; Director, Working Cars for Working Families, and NCLC project
  • Rachel J. Cross, Policy Analyst, Frontier Group
  • Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Joshua Rivera, Policy Advisor, University of Michigan, Poverty Solutions
  • James Lynch, Chief Actuary, Vice President of Research and Education, Insurance Information Institute

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

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