New York City Dept. Of Consumer Affairs Targets Dealers That Sell Used Vehicles With Open Recalls
NYIADA has learned that the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) subpoenaed several NYIADA dealers, alleging that these dealers violated consumer protection laws. Specifically, DCA alleges that the sale of used vehicles with open recalls constitutes a deceptive and unfair trade practice. Currently, no state or federal law explicitly prohibits dealers from selling used vehicles with open recalls. Attempts to modify existing laws that require dealers to repair new vehicles with recalls to include used vehicles have, to date, not succeeded. New York City’s laws do not expressly prohibit the sale of used vehicles with open recalls. Instead, DCA appears to be reinterpreting well-settled law to extend what constitutes a deceptive or unfair practice.
NYIADA disagrees with DCA’s efforts to categorize the sale of used vehicles with open recalls as a deceptive. We are attempting to arrange a meeting with DCA and outside counsel, Leonard A. Bellavia, Esq., to discuss this matter further. NYIADA is the voice of New York’s independent dealers, and we make sure that New York State and local governments hear your voice loud and clear. If you have not already done so, I ask you to consider joining NYIADA. Your support allows NYIADA to continue to fight on behalf of dealers in an ever-increasing difficult regulatory and political climate. Please contact Paula Frendel at (EMAIL) to learn more about the NYIADA and its services.
If you have received anything similar from the DCA, your local consumer affairs agency, or the Attorney General, please contact NYIADA immediately.
NYIADA New Lobbyist
We are excited to announce that NYIADA has recently contracted with New York Capitol Consultants, Inc. to be their New York State Government Relations representative. Conveniently located adjacent to the NYS Capitol, at 33 Elk St, Suite 210, Albany, New York, NYCCI is a Government Relations, Association Management, Legislative/Regulatory Counseling firm established in 1987 by Christopher C. McGrath.
Siobhan A. McGrath has recently taken over the management of the firm. For years, she had worked closely with her late father Chris McGrath on a series of governmental relations projects. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Siobhan is pleased to incorporate her strengths, contacts, and considerable management experience to the advantage of the organization and its clients.
NYCCI previously lobbied for the Independent Automobile Dealers Association on a number of issues and is excited to again represent this group of hard-working, entrepreneurial New Yorkers. Currently, all levels of government are responding to the changing economy, with these changes come new laws, regulations and standards to which industry must adjust. NYCCI will perform many functions as the independent contract lobbyist for the Association, including tracking, management, and the negotiation of policy and regulatory proposals within the NYS Legislature, Executive Branch, Authorities, and various Boards.
Our experienced team works extremely hard to further our clients’ objectives and provide the support they need. NYCCI’s Staff Associates cumulatively bring decades of lobbying, legislative, public relations, development and administrative experience. Both have worked in the government, private and not-for-profit sectors and are well-equipped to support the objectives of the NYIADA.
Associate Dennis A. Weakly has completed graduate work and research in Urban Planning and Community Development at the University at Albany and is experienced in grassroots organizing and advocacy. He has proven expertise in policy implementation, strategic advocacy planning and producing objective policy, budget and regulatory analyses.
Prior to joining NYCCI ,Associate Kristina Kwacz served as Director of Public Affairs for Assemblyman William L. Parment, where she developed media outreach, researched and resolved constituent issues, and managed all communications. Kristina has experience planning and implementing events from 20 to 700 attendees. Combined with her strong writing, editing, and presentation skills she is adept at building relationships to further organizations’ goals.
Siobhan McGrath and her team look forward to continuing their relationship with the NYIADA and furthering the Association’s relationship with New York’s decision makers.
Motor Vehicle Safety Improvement Act
"Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act"
Federal Advocates met with staff of the Senate Commerce Committee for a briefing on a draft of the “Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act” (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reauthorization bill). Of particular interest is Section 411, Used Passenger Motor Vehicle Consumer Protection. That section comes from the so-called “Toyota Bill” of last Congress. It focuses on limiting the sale or lease of used motor vehicles with respect to notification of defects, etc. The Commerce staff has asked for NIADA’s comments in writing in September. NADA opposes the bill.
The White House
On January 18, the President issued Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” The purpose of the Order, as stated by the President, was to “strike the right balance” between health, safety and environmental regulations and economic growth. Section 6 of the Order required all Executive Branch agencies to review their existing significant regulations to determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agencies’ regulatory program more effective or less burdensome. Pursuant to that section and at the request of Steve Croley, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy, Office of Domestic Policy, NIADA has been asked to submit comments regarding the current motor vehicle regulatory scheme and the Association’s experiences to date. Keith Whann has already provided informal views to Croley. Recently, the Department of Transportation submitted its review and analysis of existing rules under its jurisdiction. Other agencies are to follow suit.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Per request of Holly Petraeus, Director, Office of Servicemember Affairs, materials are made available to the CFPB on an ongoing basis regarding NIADA’s treatment of, and programs focused on, servicemembers. Via Federal Advocates, CFPB is briefed on ongoing activities of the Association, both general and those that relate to the “servicemember issue” (example, educational programs Keith Whann has/is developing).
Department of Defense (DOD)
Following up on initial meetings with DOD, Pam McClelland, Senior Program Analyst, Office of Military Community and Family Planning, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, has asked for additional materials/thoughts on how NIADA could be of assistance to DOD in its development/pursuit of programs to assist servicemembers in dealing with various motor vehicle sale issues. Keith Whann has provided initial information. He is developing the follow-up information per coordination with Federal Advocates.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Floor Plan Financing Program
Following up on meetings and phone conversations with Steve Smits, Associate Administrator, and Patrick Kelley, Senior Advisor, Keith Whann, per coordination with Federal Advocates, is in the process of arranging a workshop of motor vehicle financing entities for a presentation by, and discussion with, Smits/Kelley regarding implementation of SBA’s revised Floor Plan Financing Program, which based upon NIADA’s past experiences, raises some concerns.
Other Legislation of Interest
S.474, the Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act of 2011
Reforms the regulatory process to ensure that small businesses are free to compete and to create jobs, and for other purposes.
S.330, the Consumer Recall Protection Act of 2011
Prohibits a person from selling to consumers any covered product that is subject to a recall. Exempts from such prohibition the sale of a covered product that was subject to a recall because of a defect in such product if: (1) such defect was remedied prior to such sale; and (2) the seller of such product notifies such consumer of such recall, defect, and remedy. Defines a "covered product" to include a motor vehicle or replacement equipment, food, drugs, devices, cosmetics, a biological product, a consumer product, a meat or meat food product, a poultry or poultry product, and an egg or egg product. Defines "recall" for each type of covered product. Treats a violation of such prohibition as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice described under the Federal Trade Commission Act. Requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish, maintain, and make available to the public a searchable list of covered products that are subject to a recall.
H.R.860 and S.110, Amends the Internal Revenue Code – Charitable Tax Deduction
Amends the Internal Revenue Code with respect to the charitable tax deduction for contributions of qualified vehicles (i.e., highway motor vehicles, boats, or airplanes) to: (1) set forth revised acknowledgment requirements for vehicles valued at $2,500 or less and vehicles valued at more than $2,500; and (2) revise the penalty for submitting a fraudulent acknowledgment.
H.R.1449, the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act of 2011
Requires the manufacturer of a motor vehicle sold, leased, or otherwise introduced into U.S. commerce to: (1) provide to the vehicle owner and service providers all information necessary to diagnose, service, maintain, or repair the vehicle; (2) offer for sale to the vehicle owner and service providers any related tool or equipment; and (3) provide the information that enables aftermarket tool companies to manufacture tools with the same functional characteristics. Exempts trade secrets, so long as the information is not disclosed to authorized dealers or service providers. Authorizes enforcement of this Act by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and civil actions by state attorneys general.
H.R.527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011
Amends the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) to revise the definition of "rule" under such Act to exclude a rule of particular (and not general) applicability relating to rates, wages, and other financial indicators and to define "economic impact" with respect to a proposed or final rule as any direct economic effect on small entities from such rule and any indirect economic effect on small entities that is reasonably foreseeable and that results from such rule. Includes tribal organizations within the definition of "small governmental jurisdictions" for purposes of such Act. Requires initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses to: (1) describe alternatives to a proposed rule that minimize any adverse significant economic impact or maximize the beneficial significant economic impact on small entities, and (2) include revisions or amendments to a land management plan developed by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior under specified Acts. Expands elements of initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses under RFA to include estimates and descriptions of the cumulative economic impact of a proposed rule on a small entity. Repeals provisions allowing a waiver or delay of the completion of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. Requires the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue rules governing federal agency compliance with RFA requirements. Authorizes the Chief Counsel to modify or amend such rules, to intervene in agency adjudication relating to such rules, and to inform an agency of the impact of its rulemaking on small entities. Revises requirements for agency notification of the SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy prior to the publication of any proposed rule. Requires agencies to provide the Chief Counsel with: (1) all materials prepared or utilized in making the proposed rule, and (2) information on the potential adverse and beneficial economic impacts of the proposed rule on small entities. Requires each agency to publish in the Federal Register a plan for the periodic review of existing and new rules that have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities to determine whether such rules should be continued, changed, or rescinded. Provides for judicial review of an agency final rule for compliance with RFA requirements after the publication of such rule. Grants federal courts of appeal jurisdiction to review all final rules issued in accordance with RFA.
H.R.229, the Michael Jon Newkirk Transportation Safety Enhancement Act of 2011
Directs the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to withhold a graduated percentage of federal-aid highway funds of states for FY2014 and thereafter that do not enact or enforce a law that requires the annual inspection of registered motor vehicles so that they meet or exceed state motor vehicle standards (including the operability of vehicle seatbelts and speedometers).
H.R.164, the Damaged Vehicle Information Act
Directs the Secretary of Transportation (DOT), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to issue a regulation to require persons who terminate a motor vehicle contract due to flood or water damage, collision, fire damage, theft and recovery, or any circumstance that adversely affects the fair market value of the vehicle to disclose information of such vehicle damage to the public.
Increasing Online Traffic To NYIADA Dealers
Auto Search Technologies, Inc. is currently working on a project for NYIADA members to increase online traffic to dealerships with no monthly fees.
Auto Search Technologies, Inc. (www.AutoSearchTech.com) is an automotive software engineering firm that creates innovative and highly advanced web technologies. AST was developed by software engineers, not marketing reps; therefore, giving us the needed tools and understanding of the strict requirements necessary to be found on the Internet and through the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, AOL, etc).
By utilizing this knowledge, all of our software is capable of presenting our dealers and their inventory to their potential customers and target audience within their desired demographic. Auto Search Technologies, Inc has developed both products (autoBAHN) as well as numerous services (NiroNET) to cater to all client needs. We combine science and art to give our clients the best online presence for their dealership and inventory.
Our products and services are cost effective and powerful. Through our exclusive SEO traffic targeting system, outstanding customer service, and affordable technologies our dealers are ranking above their competition all over the Internet. Best of all, we can prove it. Our team will take your dealership and bring it to life on the web, making your website one of your best and most cost effective marketing tools.
The AutoBAHN individual dealer listing service is a stand alone web application packed with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that is dominating the top of the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, AOL ...etc). This individual dealership website allows dealerships to list unlimited vehicles online with unlimited photos, with no monthly fees. The Auto Search Online allows dealers to be found by potential customers who are either looking for the vehicles on their lot, or whatever general search terms or phrases that they would like to be found under online.