On Thursday, May 4, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland signed into law a bill which will help preserve the rights of auto dealerships throughout the state when dealing with auto manufacturers. The new law provides that key performance metrics for new motor vehicle dealers must consider local demographic and geographic limitations, among other fairness requirements. This new law redefines the often-contested issue of primary market area analysis and changes the standards for measuring and comparing dealer performance. As a nationally recognized authority in this area, Arent Fox Automotive Group leader Aaron Jacoby provided technical assistance to the bill's sponsors, including State Representatives David Fraser-Hidalgo and Dana Stein, as they developed their proposed legislation.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Data Breach Notification Statutes in NY, CA, and FL As Applied to Retail Automotive Dealerships
While autonomous car technology currently dominates privacy and security headlines in the automotive sector, cybersecurity should be top of mind for all players in our industry, including retail automotive dealerships. In fact, the FTC requires car dealers to match data protection standards required by financial institutions.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to know what auto safety regulators are doing to prevent hackers from taking control of vehicles, asking Monday that the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hand over an action plan for an industrywide security effort.
Federal regulators have not lost their enthusiasm for self-driving cars after a series of crashes involving Tesla vehicles that were operating with their automated driving system activated, the nation's top highway safety official said. National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a speech at the Automated Vehicle Symposium in San Francisco that “no one incident will derail the Department of Transportation and NHTSA from its mission to improve safety on the roads by pursuing new lifesaving technologies.” In prepared remarks released by the agency, Rosekind said “we know there will be incidents that occur with highly automated vehicles, and NHTSA will always be ready to use its authorities to investigate all aspects of vehicle safety and take whatever action is necessary.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said he wants government regulators and the auto industry to work more closely together to test self-driving technology before people entrust their vehicle’s steering and brakes to a robot. Foxx told about 1,200 people at a self-driving convention in San Francisco that a more rigorous review of robotic controls is needed to make sure the Department of Transportation and manufacturers are “in sync” about the safety of autonomous vehicles before they hit the road. “This could help assure consumers that the vehicles that they are getting into are stress tested,” Foxx said.
U.S. regulators are investigating whether Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV had inflated vehicle sales figures, the company said, following a lawsuit by Illinois dealers in January. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are probing the way the Italian-American automaker reports vehicle sales to individuals, rental fleets and other end users, the company said in a statement. In the civil lawsuit, two Chicago-area dealerships of the Ed Napleton Automotive Group accused Fiat Chrysler officials of pressuring dealers to falsify sales reports.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) took the first step in the mid-term evaluation of the National Program for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for light duty cars and trucks by releasing a draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR) for public comment. The release of the TAR delivers on a commitment that EPA made in 2012 as part of the rulemaking establishing a National Program for the 2017-2025 period. The draft TAR covers model years 2022-2025.
If you attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you probably noticed many concepts applied to the one item that many Americans use every day: the automobile. Over the past few years technology developers and manufacturers have set their sights on the automotive industry, which is one of the largest industries in the United States. From automated cars, syncing software, to wearable devices that interact with a vehicle, it is clear that our time in the car is under an era of rapid change.
The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has provided its 2015 Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on enforcement and related activities regarding Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act), Regulation M (Consumer Leasing Act), and Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfer Act). The report on TILA, CLA, and EFTA addresses, among other things, the FTC’s enforcement actions related to non-mortgage credit – including automobile purchases and financing, car title loans, payday lending, and consumer electronics financing – and mortgage-related credit such as forensic audit scams; rulemaking, research, and policy development related to truth in lending; and consumer and business education regarding truth in lending requirements. It also addresses consumer leasing enforcement actions, as well as negative option and other cases involving electronic fund transfers, and rulemaking related to electronic fund transfers.
Last week, the International Trade Commission issued its report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership's overall impact on US trade. The 792-page report, entitled Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the US Economy and Specific Industrial Sectors will trigger Congressional hearings in the weeks ahead and eventually a US ratification vote.
For its limited intended purposes, the ITC report on the automotive sector presents no real surprises. Generally, the report predicts modest gains for the industry, most notably for US finished vehicle production. It also believes auto parts will see slight gains. While the report will probably not provide fuel to accelerate TPP ratification in the US, the automotive analysis contains nothing that could be viewed as a deal breaker for the TPP's ultimate approval.
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