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November 5, 2015 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Williams Amendment Limiting Coverage of Rental Car Regulations Passes U.S. House
Volkswagen Does U-Turn in EPA Dispute
Despite Record Profit, Toyota Cuts Sales Outlook
Mazda Snubs Takata; Supplier's Survival in Doubt
OSHA Fines to Rise for First Time Since 1990
Trade Chief: Pact Will Boost U.S. Automakers
Ally Sees Progress, Gains Despite GM Setback
We Need to Think Like a Software Company: Ford
Top Stories
Williams Amendment Limiting Coverage of Rental Car Regulations Passes U.S. House

The U.S. House of Representatives late last night passed by voice vote an amendment offered by Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) that would limit coverage of new regulations on recall rental cars to rental car companies only. The Williams amendment will now be considered by a joint House-Senate conference committee, and a final vote is expected on the legislation by November 20.

“NADA thanks dealers who contacted their members of Congress in support of the Williams amendment, and NADA will work to ensure the most favorable outcome on this issue throughout the conference committee process,” said NADA President Peter Welch.

The Williams amendment to the House transportation bill (H.R. 22) refines an overly broad Senate measure requiring rental car companies to ground vehicles under recall, even for minor compliance matters with a negligible impact on safety.

“NADA will work to keep the Williams amendment in conference because the Senate bill threatens to regulate out of existence dealer loaners, and triggers new fines, government inspections and record-keeping requirements,” Welch added.
Source: NADA Legislative Affairs

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Volkswagen Does U-Turn in EPA Dispute

Auto maker halts U.S. sales of vehicles that regulator had challenged over software

Volkswagen AG reversed course in a fresh dispute with U.S. regulators, halting sales of thousands of additional diesel vehicles amid claims they may contain illegal software that can cheat on emissions tests. The German auto maker on Wednesday told its U.S. dealers to stop selling Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from the 2013 through 2016 model years equipped with 3.0-liter diesel engines. The move came two days after Volkswagen rejected Environmental Protection Agency allegations that some of the engines contained so-called defeat devices capable of duping emissions tests, and said it didn’t plan to stop selling the affected vehicles.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Despite Record Profit, Toyota Cuts Sales Outlook

Auto maker affirms full-year profit forecast

Toyota Motor Corp.’s move to trim its full-year vehicle-sales and revenue outlook, even as it posted record quarterly profits, highlights two vulnerabilities for the world’s best-selling auto maker: an emerging-markets slowdown and sluggish North American profit. Toyota on Thursday posted ¥611.7 billion ($5.02 billion) net profit for July-September, up 14% from a year earlier and its highest for any second quarter, largely thanks to a weaker yen that continues to buoy its gains. Its ¥827.4 billion quarterly operating profit was also a record, and Toyota stuck with its full-year record net profit forecast of ¥2.25 trillion.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Mazda Snubs Takata; Supplier's Survival in Doubt

Subaru, Mitsubishi may also stop using Takata airbag inflators

Analysts are openly questioning the survival chances of Takata Corp. as more automakers consider no longer using its airbag inflators at the center of a recall crisis. A day after Takata's biggest customer, Honda Motor, said it would stop fitting its new cars with the supplier's airbag inflators, Mazda said it would drop Takata inflators containing ammonium nitrate from its new cars. Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries also said they were thinking about switching away from Takata's inflators. Airbag parts contributed 38 percent of Takata's total sales last year. The company reports its first-half results on Friday.
Source: Reuters
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OSHA Fines to Rise for First Time Since 1990

Even after expected increase of up to about 80%, workplace-safety fines to be tiny compared to those issued by other agencies

Federal penalties for workplace-safety violations were increased this week for the first time since 1990, thanks to a little-noticed provision of the budget bill signed into law by President Barack Obama. The move would bring the fines in line with inflation over the past 25 years. In the future, fines from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state workplace-safety agencies would continue to rise with inflation. Still, even after an expected increase of as much as roughly 80%, OSHA fines will remain tiny compared to those issued by many other regulatory agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's note: Since 1990, OSHA has been one of only three federal agencies that were specifically exempted from a law that required federal agencies to raise their fines to keep pace with inflation. The law now requires an initial penalty “catch-up adjustment,” which must be in place by August 1, 2016. The budget directs that the penalty increases be issued as an interim final rule.


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Trade Chief: Pact Will Boost U.S. Automakers

The Obama administration’s top trade negotiator says Detroit’s Big Three automakers should take advantage of a new 12-nation free trade deal that it says will allow them new access to Japan’s largely closed market. In a recent Detroit News interview, U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman says the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow U.S. automakers new opportunities — giving them tools to sell more vehicles in Japan. But he says it is up to automakers to compete with Japanese automakers in the world’s third largest auto market.
Source: The Detroit News
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Ally Sees Progress, Gains Despite GM Setback

Despite an overall drop in auto originations resulting from a loss of some GM business, Ally Financial’s third-quarter financial results were positive, Ally executives say. Ally said it gained in all business channels in the quarter save its General Motors subvented loan and lease business, part of which GM is shifting to its captive GM Financial. And with more brand relationships, increased subprime lending and reduced focus on GM, Ally is fostering a more independent image in auto lending than it had when GM accounted for a large part of its business, Ally executives said.
Source: Automotive News

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We Need to Think Like a Software Company: Ford

Ford needs to think more like a software company in order to thrive within the future of its industry, the carmaker's head of connected services told CNBC Thursday. Cars are becoming increasingly connected with each automaker having their own in-car systems. Ford has a software system called SYNC which allows people to tether their smartphones to the car. But another feature called AppLink allows developers to make apps that can be downloaded on a phone but controlled via voice commands in Ford's cars. Ford has opened its proprietary system up to developers in the past couple of years as it looks to get more app makers on board.
Source: CNBC
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Quotable
"NADA thanks dealers who contacted their members of Congress in support of the Williams amendment, and NADA will work to ensure the most favorable outcome on this issue throughout the conference committee process."

    -- NADA President Peter Welch, referring to an amendment offered by Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) that passed by voice vote last night. The amendment would limit coverage of new regulations on recall rental cars to rental car companies only, NADA Headlines, Nov. 5

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