Law & Order

Feds Establish New Fuel-Economy Standards for Model Year 2011

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) raised the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for Model Year 2011 vehicles by about 2 miles per gallon (mpg) above the 2010 standards. The NHTSA will use an attribute-based system which sets CAFE standards for individual fleets of vehicles based on size, taking into account the differences between cars and light trucks (SUVs, pickups and vans).

Treasury Department Establishes $5 Billion Financing Program for Auto Suppliers

The United States Treasury Department will provide auto suppliers with up to $5 billion in credit to help them continue operating while automakers restructure their businesses during a time of reduced sales. The program is limited to automakers that have received loans through the Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), currently General Motors and Chrysler and their direct suppliers.

Utah Street Rod and Custom Vehicle Bill Approved by Legislature; Moves to Governor for Signature

SEMA-model legislation that would create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles was approved overwhelmingly by the Utah State Legislature and now awaits the signature of the governor before becoming law. 

H.B. 143 defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. The bill allows kit cars and replica vehicles to be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. 

NHTSA to Mandate Rearward-Viewing Cameras or Sensors as Standard Equipment on New Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may soon require all new passenger cars be equipped with a means for alerting the driver if a child is behind the vehicle when it is being backed-up. Under a law passed in early 2008, the NHTSA has three years (until February 28, 2011) to implement a regulation, and up to four more years to phase-in the rule. The specialty-equipment aftermarket has been at the forefront of offering cameras and sensors to address the issue. 

California Reintroduces Bill to Require Annual Emissions Tests for Vehicles 15 Years Old and Older

Legislation has been reintroduced in the California Assembly to require annual smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older. The bill would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars.

In 2004, a new law was enacted in California to require the lifetime testing of all '76 and newer model-year vehicles. Pre-'76 motor vehicles would remain exempt under this bill. SEMA succeeded in defeating this measure in the previous two legislative sessions. 

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