September 14, 2018
NEW AUTO TARIFFS WILL THREATEN U.S. JOBS AND HURT CONSUMERS
The auto industry has serious concerns over trade as the administration considers imposing additional tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported automobiles and auto parts. While NADA supports President Trump’s goals of modernizing our trade agreements and moving toward freer and fairer trade, steep new tariffs on autos and auto parts would hurt the auto industry and consumers. As no vehicle is 100 percent domestic and the average vehicle assembled in the United States has an international parts content of 40 percent, new auto tariffs would impact all automobile dealers due to increased prices, stifled demand for new vehicles and lost jobs.
SELF-DRIVING CARS LEGISLATION MUST PRESERVE STATE VEHICLE FRANCHISE LAWS (S. 1885/H.R. 3388)
Congress may pass legislation this year to advance self-driving vehicles. To ensure automakers are not forced to build different self-driving vehicles for different states, the legislation would preempt certain state laws that are related to the operation of a vehicle. Historically, the federal government has preempted only state laws that impact vehicle design, construction and safety. NADA agrees
that state laws related to vehicle design should be regulated at the federal level to ensure uniformity, while also strongly urging Congress to preserve the states’ traditional role to license and regulate vehicle commerce as applied to self-driving vehicles.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved S. 1885, the “AV START Act”, by voice vote in October 2017. While the bill clarifies that state laws regarding the sale, distribution, repair or service of AVs remain intact and are not preempted, a technical amendment is needed to fully ensure that state license and franchise laws are preserved. The bill’s sponsors have committed to correct the technical issue before full Senate consideration which could occur later this year. In September 2017 the House passed H.R. 3388, the “SELF DRIVE Act,” with NADA-backed language clarifying that the bill does not preempt state vehicle licensing/franchise laws. Congress must ensure a State’s traditional role to regulate vehicle commerce within its borders is explicitly preserved as applied to self-driving vehicles.
OPPOSE OVERBROAD RECALL BILLS (S. 1634/H.R. 3449)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have introduced bills (S. 1634/H.R. 3449) that could cripple the used-car market by halting the dealer sale or wholesale of any used car under open recall, even though most vehicle recalls do not require the drastic step of grounding. These bills would create a “trade-in tax” that would instantly devalue a car buyer’s
trade-in by grounding recalled vehicles for minor matters such as a peeling sticker. Because of a shortage of recall parts, it often takes months to repair recalled vehicles.
A 2015 study by J.D. Power found that enactment of these overbroad recall bills would result in an average “trade-in tax” of $1,210, and some consumers’ trade-in values would decline by $4,000 to $5,000. The Senate Commerce Committee rejected an amendment nearly identical to S. 1634 in 2015. Congress should support initiatives to increase recall completion rates and oppose S. 1634/H.R. 3449, which would create a consumer “trade-in tax.”
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