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Inside this issue
Senate Democrats to Offer Safety Amendments to Highway Bill
Five Years After Dodd-Frank, Time for a Course Correction at CFPB
FCA Consent Order Would Be 'A Strong Outcome,' NHTSA Chief Says
Ford Bets US Consumers Will Snap Up High-End Pickup Trucks
Betts, Ex-Chrysler Quality Chief, Joins Apple
U-M Opens $10M Test City For Driverless Vehicle Research
Top Stories
Senate Democrats to Offer Safety Amendments to Highway Bill

Surface Transportation Reauthorization

Some provisions in a six-year Senate highway bill that affect highway safety will need to be cut and others added before Democrats will support the larger bill, according to Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee recently approved a rail, freight and safety bill (S. 1732) that is expected to come to the floor as part of a larger six-year highway and transit bill as soon as this week. No Democrats on the panel voted for the legislation. And Markey, along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said July 20 that they will not support the larger bill on the floor unless provisions of the Commerce Committee's “anti-safety, anti-consumer and anti-labor” bill are removed.

Amendments That May Be Offered

Blumenthal said …he planned to offer amendments that would require used car dealers to fix safety defects on recalled vehicles and increase civil penalties that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can impose on automakers for safety violations.

Gearing Up For Battle Before Vote

Republicans made some concessions on the transportation bill sponsored by committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) before it was approved, like doubling safety fines on the auto industry from $7,000 per incident to $14,000. ….

The committee further approved an amendment offered by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) that would prohibit rental car companies from renting out vehicles under recall unless they had fixed the safety defects.

Markey and Blumenthal said the committee-approved changes made to the bill were not enough.
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's note: Sen. Blumenthal's (D-Conn.) is planning to offer an amendment to ground used vehicles under open recall on the Senate floor as early as this week. Dealers and their customers are urged to call their Senators at 202.224.3121 and urge them to oppose the anti-consumer Blumenthal amendment during the Highway bill debate. Contact information for the Senate offices is also available at www.senate.gov. Click here for NADA's issue brief on vehicle recall legislation and click here for talking points opposing the Blumenthal amendment.
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Five Years After Dodd-Frank, Time for a Course Correction at CFPB

When disaster strikes in this country, someone usually grabs the microphone to pronounce that Washington will step in with new programs to ensure “it” will never happen again. Such was the case five years ago this month with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the voluminous legislation intended to supposedly ensure that there would never be a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis that gripped America. It was supposed to protect the consumer from the fraudulent or unscrupulous business practices of financial institutions.  It’s hard to argue with that. Financial institutions, credit companies, and other industries dependent on financial services have had to make drastic changes to their operations since the passage of the bill.

However, Dodd-Frank has ended up contributing to an unprecedented interference in the free market and reductions in personal privacy and consumer freedom - more than any other single piece of legislation. The law’s most significant achievement – the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – has become the poster child for nanny state government, domestic spying and a lack of transparency and accountability that’s nothing to celebrate. This ship has been at sea for five years now and suggesting it be sunk is of little utility at this point. The CFPB is here to stay, but the ship clearly needs a serious course correction to prevent marketplace overreach and threats to consumer choice.  That can’t be done while it sails along invisible to the public radar.
Source: The Hill

Editor's note: To download NADA's Fair Credit Compliance Policy & Program, click here.
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FCA Consent Order Would Be 'A Strong Outcome,' NHTSA Chief Says

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said [Monday] that the agency is negotiating with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to settle a dispute over the automaker’s handling of recalls, but nothing has been signed. Speaking to reporters in Detroit ahead of a conference about autonomous vehicles, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said a settlement -- known as a consent order -- with FCA “would be a strong outcome if we could do that.” FCA representatives were called to a special hearing on July 2 at NHTSA to answer questions about 23 recalls that the agency alleges were improperly executed. After the hearing, Rosekind said that FCA would face penalties for its actions.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Bets US Consumers Will Snap Up High-End Pickup Trucks

Ford Motor on Tuesday will launch a new luxury version of its F-150 pickup truck that could command prices above $60,000, answering growing demand from U.S. consumers for trucks that could substitute for a higher end German sedan. The 2016 Ford F-150 Limited will go on sale later this year, and will be a step up from the automaker's current top-of-the-line pickup, the F-150 Platinum. Low gasoline prices along with better fuel economy have boosted demand for feature-laden duty trucks and large SUVs which are helping the bottom lines for the three Detroit automakers.
Source: CNBC

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Betts, Ex-Chrysler Quality Chief, Joins Apple

Doug Betts, the former head of global quality at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and an expert in auto manufacturing, has joined Apple Inc., according to the auto industry veteran's LinkedIn profile. Betts' account on the social networking website for professionals said he joined the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant with the title of "Operations -- Apple Inc." in July. His hiring signals Apple's work on an electric-car project could be gaining ground. Apple has hired hundreds of experts to work on the EV project --  code-named “Titan” -- but hasn’t publicly acknowledged the program, making it hard to assess its scope.
Source: Reuters
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U-M Opens $10M Test City For Driverless Vehicle Research

Mcity, the new research hub for autonomous and connected vehicle technology, had its coming out party in Ann Arbor. Billed as a linchpin to preserve southeast Michigan's dominance in automotive technology's future, Mcity is designed to accelerate development of inter-vehicle communication and driverless cars.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Quotable
"[The CFPB] clearly needs a serious course correction to prevent marketplace overreach and threats to consumer choice."

   
-- The Hill, on the need for the CFPB to have the oversight of Congress through the appropriations process like virtually every other executive agency, July 20

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