SEMA members manufacture, distribute and retail parts and accessories for use on passenger cars, trucks, recreational and special-interest collector vehicles of all kinds. These products include performance, functional, restoration and styling-enhancement equipment of various designs and performance specifications. However, many of these parts are required to meet a variety of state and federal laws and regulations. Complying with these requirements is no easy task, but it can be made easier with a simple understanding of which parts are regulated, who regulates them and how manufacturers can innovate new products for automobiles within the bounds of the law. The following summarizes regulatory oversight basics.
Government Affairs News
The fight against unfair automotive laws has been spearheaded by the SEMA Action Network (SAN) for nearly two decades. Citizen advocates—individuals from the industry and hobby alike—help shape the course of automotive-related proposals before they become law. While keeping its membership posted on legislative trends throughout the United States and Canada, the SAN offers easy-to-follow guidance on influencing bills in one’s jurisdiction. Urgent in nature, the SAN’s Legislative Action Alert e-mail messages immediately call constituents to speak out in a unified way about legislation making its way through the legislatures. This potent tool has a proven record of successfully swaying lawmakers on high-impact issues.
While it’s too soon to tell who the next commander in chief will be, the field of contenders has begun to take shape. The candidates feature some very familiar names as well as some newcomers who have already made their marks. Who will emerge the victor? Let’s examine the players.
Law and Order is an update of some of the most recent federal and state legislative and regulatory issues that could potentially impact the automotive specialty-equipment industry. These include issues affecting small-business owners and their employees.
In its daily efforts to promote and protect the auto hobby, SEMA continues to partner with state lawmakers from across the country through the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.
For SEMA-member companies putting out great products these days, the challenge of illegal unauthorized copies is almost unavoidable. While some companies turn to the courts, federal agencies and law enforcement to confront counterfeiters, these avenues are frequently too expensive, ineffective or both. With the pervasive culture of counterfeiting in today’s global marketplace, SEMA members may be best served by also pursuing creative solutions that focus on branding, consumer awareness and unique packaging.
The efforts and outcomes secured by SEMA’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., are among the association’s most highly rated benefits, according to our annual member satisfaction survey. While the D.C. team is a key factor, success is a function of each of you taking part and putting your strength into the effort—helping us make a deep impact on the policy discussions and decisions that are critical to the future of our industry.
Mark your calendars! With Congress in full swing, it’s not too early to make plans to attend the 2016 Washington Rally (May 10–12). The May gathering will mark the 11th time SEMA members have assembled in our nation’s capital to advocate on behalf of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. A biennial tradition, the Washington Rally has raised SEMA’s profile within the halls of Congress and is an integral part of the association’s advocacy efforts.
Legislation to remove the requirement that gasoline offered for sale in the state contain a percentage of ethanol was approved on a 23–3 vote by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Legislation to increase the initial registration and transfer registration tax by $100 was introduced.
On July 10, 2015, SEMA members joined with car clubs and thousands of enthusiasts to celebrate the sixth annual Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD).
President Obama recently designated three national monuments, including the 700,000-plus-acre Basin and Range National Monument in eastern Nevada, the 330,000-acre Berryessa Snow Mountain Monument in Northern California and the Waco National Monument in Texas.
Legislation to remove the requirement that all gasoline offered for sale in Oregon contain a percentage of ethanol died when the legislature adjourned for the year.
Effective June 19, 2015, ethylene glycol is now listed as a regulated chemical under Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation to allow manufacturers to meet warranty and labeling requirements for consumer products by providing warranty information online.
Employers are currently exempt from paying salaried employees overtime if they make more than about $23,660.
Thanks to the efforts of the Manitoba Association of Auto Clubs, the Manitoba Minister of Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection issued a proclamation designating July 12, 2015, as Collector Car Appreciation Day in the province.
Legislation to repeal the requirement that gasoline offered for sale in Hawaii contain a percentage of ethanol was signed into law by Governor David Ige.
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation designating July 10, 2015, as Collector Car Appreciation Day in the state.
The U.S. Senate recently passed Senate Resolution 196 (S. Res. 196) designating July 10, 2015, as Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD).
SEMA-supported legislation to require new-car dealers to provide purchasers a written statement declaring it is illegal for manufacturers or dealers to void a warranty or deny coverage because aftermarket or recycled parts were installed or because someone other than the dealer performed service was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy.
SEMA’s Government Affairs Office has compiled a comprehensive guide on how motor-vehicle parts are regulated by the federal government.
The Judiciary Committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed legislation targeting “patent trolls,” which are companies that aggressively enforce their patents rights beyond the scope of the actual patents.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reviewed its rules, guides and interpretations under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act—the law governing warranties issued for consumer products, including automobiles and auto parts.
Legislation to lower the property tax on many older vehicles died when the legislature adjourned for the year.