Law & Order

EPA MOVES TO REGULATE AUTOBODY/PARTS PAINTING OPERATIONS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to regulate paint-stripping operations that use methylene chloride and surface coating and autobody refinishing operations that use paints containing hazardous metal compounds. The rule targets hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), which the agency believes may cause cancer or other health disorders. The rule would apply to most coating activities that emit HAPs. 
 

COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF CALIFORNIA'S GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATION

A federal judge in Vermont rejected a challenge by the auto industry that the greenhouse gas emissions standards issued by California are actually fuel-economy standards, thereby restricted to federal jurisdiction. The standards have been adopted by Vermont and 10 other states and require a 30% reduction in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars and trucks by 2016 on a phased-in basis beginning in model year 2009. A similar lawsuit is pending in California. 
 

FEDS MANDATE SIDE AIRBAG INSTALLATION BY 2013

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has upgraded the side-impact protection standard for new cars and trucks. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 214 will now require that test vehicles be slammed sideways into a pole to determine how well they protect occupants. Although NHTSA does not dictate how to construct vehicles that will comply with the test’s performance requirements, most automakers are expected to install airbags.

PRICELESS TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PATENTS, TRADEMARKS AND COPYRIGHTS

SEMA created a webpage called "Trademarks, Patents & Copyrights: What Your Business Needs to Know" as part of its ongoing efforts to help SEMA members protect their valuable intellectual property. The webpage provides a basic overview of the subject along with information on how to register intellectual property. The web material expands upon articles periodically appearing in SEMA News on the same topic. SEMA notes that registering intellectual property is a key to establishing legal rights, such as the right to protect against infringement by obtaining a restrain

EXHIBITOR WARNING: "FREE" LISTINGS IN SOME SHOW GUIDES MAY NOT BE FREE

It has come to SEMA's attention that some SEMA members have received a one-page notice offering a "free" listing in The FAIR Guide operated by Construct Data Verlag (also known as Construct Data AG) based in Austria. However, the small print at the bottom of the page notes that by signing and returning the document, you have entered into a three-year, non-retractable contract to pay as much as $981 a year for the listing. 

Example of Fair Guide solicitation:

FEDS UPDATING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN U.S./CANADIAN SAFETY STANDARDS FOR IMPORTED VEHICLES

The United States and Canada have similar motor-vehicle safety standards. When they are not the same, manufacturers and registered importers are permitted to import Canadian-certified vehicles and bring them into compliance with U.S. standards. In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued new safety standards, but Canada has not yet taken similar actions. These standards include FMVSS No.

ANTI-COUNTERFEITING EVENTS FOR SEMA MEMBERS IN THE L.A. AREA

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring educational and media events throughout the Los Angeles area focusing on the costs and safety threats of counterfeiting and piracy. Each day's events will address a specific topic including the impact of this growing problem on California's small- and medium-size businesses. For more information and to register to participate, visit www.regonline.com/Checkin.asp?EventId=143270.

MODIFIED EXHAUST SYSTEM BAN TO BE CONSIDERED IN MASSACHUSETTS

After being stalled by SEMA for the last several years, a bill to ban the sale or installation of "an exhaust system which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust" was reintroduced and has been scheduled for an October hearing in the Massachusetts Legislature.

The measure does not supply law enforcement with a clear standard to enforce, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether or not a modified exhaust system is in violation.

FEDS ESTABLISH NEW PROCEDURE FOR TESTING CHILD-SEAT RESTRAINTS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established a new test procedure to demonstrate that the front passenger airbag will be suppressed during deployment when a child safety seat is present.  All vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2008, must comply with the rule.  The tests apply to child seats attached with lower anchors and tethers (“LATCH”), a system that bypasses a vehicle’s seat belts.

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