Legislative Affairs

Legislative Affairs

Learn how ATD Legislative Affairs protects and promotes franchised auto and truck dealerships’ interests before Congress.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final rule entitled, “Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards” for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles for model years 2027 and later. This rule imposes between $39 and $55 billion in new regulatory costs on the trucking industry between 2027 and 2045, and could result in new commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that are unaffordable or do not meet the performance standards needed for purchasers’ businesses. When new CMVs do not sell, older, less environmentally-friendly CMVs stay on the road. Today’s new trucks have already reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions between 98-99% overall. The best way to improve air quality is to incentivize fleet turnover with the goal of retiring pre-2010 trucks, which do not employ the latest emission control technologies. On April 18, ATD submitted testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee regarding the impact of EPA’s heavy-duty engine rule on CMV sales, fleet turnover, and the affordability and reliability of truck CMVs. Congress should closely examine the marginal benefits of the NOx rule and its related costs and impacts on small businesses and U.S. jobs.
Congress should repeal the outdated 12% federal excise tax (FET) imposed on new heavy-duty trucks to accelerate turnover of America’s aging truck fleet, which will lead to cleaner, safer trucks on the road. First enacted in 1917 to help pay for World War I, this tax routinely adds $22,000 or more to the price of a new heavy-duty truck. The FET is levied in addition to the nearly $40,000 per truck cost due to recent federal emissions and fuel-economy mandates. The FET can also add more than $50,000 to the price of an electric or hydrogen fuel-cell truck, which are more than twice the price of internal combustion engine trucks. While new trucks have made significant environmental gains, such as reducing NOx and particulate matter emissions by at least 98%, the FET remains a costly barrier to the purchase of new trucks equipped with the latest environmental technologies. With 47% of the Class 8 trucks on the road today over 10 years old, FET repeal would immediately benefit the environment by incentivizing the replacement of older trucks with cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient trucks. In February, ATD, the American Trucking Associations and the Zero Emission Transportation Association sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging repeal of the FET. In March, the bipartisan “Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2023” (H.R. 1440/S. 694) was reintroduced to repeal the FET. Members of Congress are urged to cosponsor H.R. 1440/S. 694 to protect U.S. jobs, replace older trucks with new greener trucks and promote the adoption of advanced technology trucks.
Advocates for “right to repair” legislation claim that independent vehicle repair shops do not have access to the parts or data necessary to repair vehicles. However, this concern was rectified years ago, and the information independent shops need to repair vehicles is available from every truck manufacturer. Unlike previous “right to repair” bills, H.R. 906 has little to do with repairing a vehicle. Instead, the bill would compel truck manufacturers to provide any “aftermarket parts manufacturer” the information necessary “to produce or offer compatible aftermarket parts,” i.e., parts not made by the truck manufacturer. This legislation would also give any third party unfettered access to data from vehicles, which raises privacy, vehicle security, and safety concerns. The bill is also overbroad as it regulates heavy-duty vehicles the same as light-duty vehicles. Last year, ATD wrote a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership opposing a nearly identical previous version of this legislation. Members of Congress should oppose H.R. 906.
Catalytic converters are being stolen at increasingly higher rates due to their valuable metals, such as rhodium, platinum and palladium. Thefts reported in insurance company claims have sharply increased over the past three years, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that these thefts increased by 1,215% between 2019 and 2022. Gas-powered medium-duty trucks are often targeted by thieves, as many of these vehicles have catalytic converters that can be easily accessed. Since catalytic converters are not readily traceable, there is a lucrative market for these stolen parts. These thefts are costing businesses and vehicle owners millions of dollars. The bipartisan “Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act” (PART Act) (H.R. 621/S. 154) would help law enforcement combat this crime by providing a national framework that would mark catalytic converters, establish federal criminal penalties, and create a more transparent market that deters its theft. Last year, ATD and 14 other groups sent a letter in support of the PART Act. Members of Congress should cosponsor the PART Act to address the growing national problem of catalytic converter theft.



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NADA Legislative Affairs Staff

About Legislative Affairs

Learn how NADA Legislative Affairs protects and promotes franchised auto and truck dealerships' interests before Congress. Find the latest legislation affecting the automotive retail industry, including issues such as auto finance, tax policy, vehicle commerce, fuel economy and the environment, as well as grassroots.