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Inside this issue
Dealership Employee in Houston Recalls Harrowing Ordeal Trapped in Attic
Video: TADA's Bill Wolters Calls on Dealers to Donate to NADA's Emergency Relief Fund
Some Automakers Offer Financial Relief, Deals In Areas Devastated By Hurricane Harvey
CAFE Standards Review Faces Public Hearing
U.S. to Unveil Revised Self-Driving Car Guidelines in Michigan, Reports Say
Nissan Hopes to Rake in Customers With a New Leaf
Top Stories
Dealership Employee in Houston Recalls Harrowing Ordeal Trapped in Attic


HOUSTON – About 36 hours after Hurricane Harvey first made landfall in Southeastern Texas, Keyvan “Fred” Ram noticed water starting to flow up his driveway at his home in northwest Houston.

“At first, I thought this is it, water is not going to get into the house,” said Ram, who has worked as an auto body technician in the collision department at Helfman Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Houston for the past three years.

Over the next 12 hours, flood water steadily entered his home through the garage and front door. “I started to panic. There was no electricity. It was dark,” Ram added. “I found the highest place, my attic. I was trapped inside my house.”

Early the next morning after spending the night in his attic, Ram decided to get out after hearing the sound of helicopters fly above. He waded through chest-high water to exit his home and climbed on top of his flooded SUV in the driveway where he sat for six hours until he was rescued that afternoon by the sheriff’s department patrolling in a boat.



“I lost my house. It’s completely flooded. And my cars are underwater,” said Ram, a 22-year resident of Houston.

Dealership owner Steven Wolf estimates 150 out of 600 employees at his three dealerships in Houston sustained minor to major property damage.

Dealership employees who sustained personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding can apply for financial assistance through the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund. (Lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement.)

The NADA Foundation is calling on dealers, dealer association groups and others to donate online to the Emergency Relief Fund, which is dedicated exclusively to providing financial assistance to dealership employees and their families.

Personal or corporate checks can be made payable to Emergency Relief Fund, c/o NADA Foundation, 8400 Westpark Drive, Tysons, VA 22102. For more information, call 703.821.7102. (Donations to the NADA Foundation are generally tax-deductible; contributors should consult their tax advisors for details.)

Since 1992, the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund has provided more than $6 million to 9,200 dealership employees across the country.
Source: NADA

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Video: TADA's Bill Wolters Calls on Dealers to Donate to NADA's Emergency Relief Fund

AUSTIN, Texas – Bill Wolters, president of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, is calling on the nation's new-car and -truck dealers and others to provide financial assistance to dealership employees in southeast Texas who sustained personal property damage from Hurricane Harvey by donating to the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund.

"NADA created the Emergency Relief Fund to give immediate funds to these employees to help them bridge the gap until they can get their lives back together," said Wolters, who represents 1,300 new-car and -truck dealerships in Texas. "We need those thousands of dealerships across the country to pull together to help these dealership employees get back on their feet. We really, really need everyone to step up and help us get through this."
Source: NADA

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Some Automakers Offer Financial Relief, Deals In Areas Devastated By Hurricane Harvey
 
In addition to making donations to relief agencies such as the American Red Cross and community food banks, some automakers have announced various offers of payment relief to customers whose vehicles were damaged by Hurricane Harvey flooding.
 
Below is a round-up of offers that automakers say could help people whose vehicles were lost or destroyed by Harvey. But some portions could also help them sell more vehicles in what has been a very slow market.
 
The information is based on announcements that automakers have made in the last few days. If we learn of others, we’ll report on them.
Source: Forbes

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CAFE Standards Review Faces Public Hearing
 
The EPA on Wednesday will hold its first and only public hearing on assessing Obama-era fuel economy standards for model years 2021-25, which are getting a second look at the behest of automakers.
 
The hearing, beginning at 9 a.m., is expected to include presentations by representatives of automakers; consumer, safety, and environmental groups; state regulators; health agencies; and other key stakeholders.
 
President Trump's controversial decision to reopen the midterm review process for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program is seen by opponents as the first step in an effort to roll back rules aimed at doubling fleetwide fuel efficiency, and further lowering greenhouse gas emissions, by 2025.
 
Manufacturers support the aims of the program, but want more flexibility in terms of the targets and timeline to reflect the cost of fuel-saving technology and the market's shift toward trucks. If the targets are set too aggressively, they argue, consumers may not be willing to pay higher prices for vehicles with fuel-saving technology and lighter materials, which would encourage people to hold on to dirtier vehicles and limit the potential reductions in carbon emissions.
Source: Automotive News

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U.S. to Unveil Revised Self-Driving Car Guidelines in Michigan, Reports Say
 
President Donald Trump's administration is set to unveil revised self-driving vehicle guidelines next week in Michigan, responding to automakers' calls for elimination of legal barriers to putting autonomous vehicles on the road, sources briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.
 
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was expected to unveil the revised guidelines next Tuesday at a self-driving vehicle testing facility in Ann Arbor, Mich., four people briefed on the matter said.
 
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives will vote on a sweeping proposal to speed deployment of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles. The measure could help many automakers and tech companies keep their pledges of getting self-driving cars on the market by 2020 or 2021.
 
The House will vote on the bill under fast-track rules that allow no amendments. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators working on similar legislation has not introduced a bill.
Source: Automotive News

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Nissan Hopes to Rake in Customers With a New Leaf
 
Nissan Motor Co. introduced its new Leaf electric car Wednesday, with improved range, autonomous-driving technology and a price tag that undercuts rivals in a bid to jump-start slowing sales.
 
Nissan said the car would go on sale in Japan on Oct. 2 and in the U.S. and Europe in January. When it goes on sale in the U.S. the vehicle will start at $29,990, slightly less expensive than the current Leaf.
 
With bulked-up battery power, the Leaf will go 150 miles on a single charge, according to the company, up from 107 miles in the previous version. It also plans to introduce a version in the next year with a range of more than 300 miles.
Source: WSJ

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Quotable
"I lost my house. It's completely flooded. And my cars are underwater."

    -- Keyvan “Fred” Ram, an auto body technician at Helfman Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Houston, who sustained devastating property damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, NADA Blog, Sept. 5

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