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Inside this issue
Auto-Loan Delinquency Rates Drop to Lowest Level in a Decade
At Least 10% of Takata Air Bag Replacement Parts Need Replacing Again in U.S.
Fiat Chrysler Says it Was Late on Five Recalls
Have You Reviewed Your Written Employee Handbook Lately?
GM vs. Ford and the Latest Sales Rivalries
Toyota Boosting Japan Exports to Reach Sales Goal
Average U.S. MPG Edges Up to 25.5 in May
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto-Loan Delinquency Rates Drop to Lowest Level in a Decade

Auto-loan delinquency rates have fallen to their lowest level in a decade, even as high-risk loans continue to rise, a report released [Thursday] said. The number of new subprime auto loans, defined as those to consumers with an Equifax Risk Score below 620, reached 983,275 in the first two months of this year, an 8.1 percent increase from the year-earlier period, Equifax’s National Consumer Credit Trends Report said. Despite the rise, the subprime segment made up 20.8 percent of the auto-loan market in January-February, unchanged from a year earlier. Amid the backdrop of that rise in subprime loans, delinquencies of 60 days or more dropped to 0.81 percent in April, the lowest level since 2005. The 60-day delinquency rate was 0.9 percent in April 2014. The 60 days or more delinquency rate had stood at 1.15 percent in January and 1.12 percent in February, both below year-earlier levels.
Source: Automotive News
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At Least 10% of Takata Air Bag Replacement Parts Need Replacing Again in U.S.

At least 400,000 of the 4 million replacement inflators for defective Takata air bags will need to be replaced again in U.S. vehicles, sources at the Japanese safety equipment maker and the U.S. safety watchdog told Reuters. Another 500,000 of those parts appear to be safe, according to U.S. safety regulators, leaving the safety of more than 3 million replacement parts in question. An official at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Reuters on Wednesday that it was up to Takata Corp and the carmakers to "demonstrate to us that the remedy parts are safe for the life of the vehicle." A priority now is to determine which of the replacement parts "are suspect and need to be replaced" again, the NHTSA official said.
Source: Reuters

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Fiat Chrysler Says it Was Late on Five Recalls

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles acknowledged in a filing Thursday that it was late in notifying customers of five safety recall campaigns. In each of the five, FCA US told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it exceeded the 60-day limit of notifying owners of the recall. The late notifications ranged from a day to 12 days. The acknowledgement came in an 18-page response to NHTSA, which has scheduled a July 2 hearing into alleged FCA footdragging on 20 recalls affecting 11 million vehicles. FCA filed five million documents this week to try to fulfill a government's request, and the response provided the automaker's answers to specific questions.
Source: USA Today

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Have You Reviewed Your Written Employee Handbook Lately?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently held the dress code, personal hygiene and social media policies in a car dealership's employee handbook to be "unfair labor practices." One issue involved a prohibition on wearing pins, insignias or other message clothing. The NLRB determined that, since the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to both union and nonunion workers, dealership employees have the right to display union messaging and insignia in the workplace and the dealership's handbook language unreasonably restricted such displays. The NLRB  also held the dealership's social media policy to unduly restrict the ability of employees to engage in concerted activity without dealership interference. 

The case highlights the NLRB's aggressive enforcement focus on employee handbook policies. Guidance on handbook provisions of concern, such as those involving confidentiality, anti-harassment and media contacts, is found in an NLRB General Counsel report recently highlighted by Board member Harry I. Johnson III in an April 2015 presentation to the NADA Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Note: since the NLRA and the NLRB's jurisdiction reach all union and nonunion workplaces, all dealers should consider having their employee handbook workplace policies reviewed by labor counsel.
Source: NADA Regulatory Affairs
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GM vs. Ford and the Latest Sales Rivalries

Five months into the year, 2015 is on pace to be one of the U.S. auto industry’s best years ever. And Detroit’s two biggest automakers are finding themselves locked in a number of close races, even switching places in a few important segments. General Motors may not be the world’s largest automaker anymore, but it still can get plenty of satisfaction from a resounding victory over Ford (and vice versa, as shown by Ford executive Jim Farley’s desire to “beat Chevrolet on the head with a bat”). Click here to see where the two rivals stand in a couple of battles for cross-town bragging rights.
Source: Automotive News
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Toyota Boosting Japan Exports to Reach Sales Goal

Toyota Motor Corp., facing capacity constraints in North America, may boost exports from Japan for the first time in three years to meet its global sales target. Weak sales in resource-rich and emerging countries have made it “very difficult” to meet Toyota’s 2015 target, Managing Officer Yoichi Miyazaki said last month, according to a newsletter by the company’s labor union. Toyota must make up for the shortfall by boosting sales in developed markets, he said, asking for the cooperation of the company’s Japanese workers in handling the increased workload.
Source: Bloomberg
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Average U.S. MPG Edges Up to 25.5 in May

The average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. was up 0.3 mpg in May, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “The improvement likely reflects the increased price of gasoline in May,” UMTRI researcher Michael Sivak said in a statement Wednesday. The average window-sticker value of new cars, SUVs, vans and pickups purchased in the U.S. was 25.5 mpg in May, up from 25.2 in April. May is the 16th consecutive month that average fuel economy has been at least 25 mpg.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable
"A lot of consumers still bear the financial scars of the past recession, and they are not in a hurry to make the same mistakes."

   
-- Dennis Carlson, deputy chief economist at Equifax, on his expectation for delinquency rates to continue to trend downward, Automotive News, June 4

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