Law & Order

GOVERNMENT CRAFTS RECOMMENDED "BEST PRACTICES" FOR IMPORTERS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public comments on a draft "best practices" for importers. The guidelines are intended to reduce the likelihood that imported automobiles and auto parts may contain safety defects or not comply with federal safety standards. NHTSA joins a number of federal government agencies that are pursuing the same initiative for other types of consumer products, from toys to pet food and pharmaceuticals. The goal is to compile useful advice when a company outsources its products.

GIVE THAT CAR ANOTHER STAR

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has expanded the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include a new “overall crashworthiness rating” which combines the front-end, side and rollover test results. Initiated in 1979, the NCAP utilizes a five-star rating system to provide consumers with basic safety information about a new vehicle and foster comparison shopping between different makes and models. 

NEXT PRESIDENT WILL RESOLVE HOW TO REGULATE GREENHOUSE GASES

The Bush Administration has decided not to propose specific steps to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comments on the threat posed by global warming and possible ways to address the issue. The action effectively places the decision of how to regulate GHG emissions in the hands of the next president and Congress.

R&D TAX CREDIT IN LIMBO

Senate republicans and democrats continue to have major differences over tax legislation, which is holding up retroactive extension of the Research and Development Tax Credit which expired in December 2007. SEMA and other groups have been lobbying Congress to restore the tax credit and make it permanent. While there is general agreement that the credit should be renewed, there is disagreement on how it should be financed. The democrats want to pay for the credits with revenue-raising measures that are generally opposed by Senate republicans.

TWO-YEAR DELAY FOR PULL-UP POWER WINDOW SWITCHES

The automakers have been given a two-year extension, until October 2010, to comply with requirements that power window switches have a "pull-to-close" design to prevent children from accidentally leaning on a switch and closing a window on their limbs, head or neck. While most new cars and light-duty trucks will have the switches sooner than 2010, a few models may still have recessed or shrouded “rocker” or “toggle” switches.

LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR SMALL-BUSINESS HEALTH CARE REFORMS

Alleviating the mounting cost pressure of health care premiums on SEMA members and their workers remains a top SEMA priority. Legislation that would have permitted trade associations to offer small-business health plans (SBHPs) based on national pooling arrangements was narrowly defeated in 2006. Federal lawmakers are still seeking a consensus approach to resolve issues that produced the stalemate two years ago, such as conflicts over federal/state oversight and requiring minimum policy mandates. 

Pages

Subscribe to Law & Order Subscribe to Law & Order