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NADA keeps eyes on legislation, regulations that could impact dealers

November 22, 2010
By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

Congress is in summer recess this month, so legislators have returned to their home districts. Now is your chance to schedule a meeting with your representative or senator to discuss legislative issues that affect your business. What have lawmakers (and regulators) been up to recently?

 

The Federal Communications Commission has delayed until Jan. 9, 2006, a rule that would have required senders of fax ads to obtain a recipient’s signed written permission before sending the fax. The FCC’s current fax ad rules, which permit sending fax advertisements to recipients with whom the sender has an established business relationship (EBR), still apply.

 

The NADA’s work with a coalition to obtain congressional passage of legislation to preserve the EBR was successful. Under the new legislation, which President Bush signed on July 11:

 

  • Fax ads based on an EBR still must provide notice and a cost-free mechanism for recipients to "opt out" of future fax ads from the sender; and  
  • Senders may continue using fax numbers that were in their possession prior to the date of enactment. Fax numbers obtained after July 11 must come directly from the recipient or from a published source.

 

The law applies in all 50 states, but any more restrictive state law provisions continue to apply. 

The FCC has granted an NADA petition which clarifies that the National Do-Not-Call rules do not prohibit dealers from calling consumers to alert them that their vehicles have been recalled due to a product safety or defect concern and to schedule appointments to correct the defect. The clarification applies only if the defect repair work does not involve any cost to the consumer and the dealership does not encourage the purchase of other goods and services during the phone call.

 

The Federal Reserve Board has issued an NADA-supported interim rule that extends to dealers and other nonbank creditors a critical exception to the FACT Act’s prohibition against obtaining or using medical information for credit eligibility decisions. Dealers now may use medical information solely to evaluate a consumer’s credit capacity (such as when considering medical debt as a component of the consumer’s overall debt). The interim rule takes effect March 7, 2006. 

It’s never too early to prepare for this fall’s public outreach programs.

 

Child Passenger Safety Month The NADA encourages dealers to host child safety seat inspection events at their stores in September. Dealers who held events last year reported large turnouts and positive community feedback.

 

  • An NADA tool kit with step-by-step guidance on hosting a child safety seat event, Building Child Passenger Safety Awareness in Your Community, was mailed with the June issue of NADA’s AutoExec magazine. To view the tool kit and other NADA materials online, please visit www.nada.org/boostforsafety/
  • The NADA has teamed up with the safety group, "I’m Safe!" to offer dealers hosting events discounted branded booster seat safety materials for kids. Visithttp://www.imsafe.com/nada/nada.htm or call 877/669-7233 for more information or to order.
  • The NADA is also has free materials for your child safety seat event, including postcard-sized guides to proper child seat use, consumer brochures on booster seat use and a video for showroom display. To order any of these materials, e-mail rwhite@nada.org
  • Want to get teens in your community excited about dealership careers—and interested in working for you? Automotive Career Week is October 24-29. NADA is offering a free kit to help you reach out to middle- and high-school students. Order forms were mailed with the July issue of NADA’s AutoExec. For more career resources or to order a kit online, visit www.nada.org/careers or call 800/252-6232.

 

In other NADA news: 

  • The NADA’s efforts to encourage drivers to regularly check the condition of and maintain their tires are ongoing. To join the nearly 1,000 dealers who have signed up for the "Be Tire Smart — Play Your Part" national tire safety campaign, visit www.nada.org, click Newsroom and scroll down to "NADA Joins National Tire Safety Campaign" for a sign-up form.
  • According to research by Automotive Retailing Today83 percent of women indicate that their overall dealership purchase experience was positive, compared to 80 percent of their male counterparts. Help change negative dealer stereotypes by including this statistic in your organization’s communications, including speeches, press releases and media interviews, and on your Web site. For more information, visit www.autoretailing.org/  

Sales-wise, this has been one hot summer. Light-vehicle sales, driven by GM’s employee pricing promotions, rose some 16 percent in June. GM’s sales were up 41 percent over last June, but the incentive boosted some competitors’ sales, too, as buyers cross-shopped brands. With GM, Ford and Chrysler all offering similar deals through July, heavy traffic continued.

 

I hope your summer has been profitable and fun. As always, let me know your ideas and concerns, so that I can meet your needs as your NADA director.

 

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