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NHTSA pushes Bush CAFE plan on Hill to skeptical Congress

November 17, 2010
By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Nicole Nason recently testified before the energy and air subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee about President Bush’s plan to increase fuel efficiency by boosting fuel economy standards an average of 4 percent beginning in 2009.


Bush has proposed new rules to reduce projected annual gasoline consumption in the U.S. by 8.5 billion gallons, a goal he highlighted in January during his State of the Union address. To meet that goal, he has touted an attribute-based system for cars similar to the current fuel-efficiency rule for light trucks.


One aspect of the plan, criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, is to allow automakers to trade fuel efficiency credits, much as electric utilities trade sulfur dioxide credits in the EPA’s acid rain program. In the coming months, both the House and the Senate will hold numerous hearings on climate change and fuel efficiency.


In other legislative news:


With new bills addressing total-loss disclosure legislation introduced in both the House and Senate, co-sponsors are needed to help advance the bills through the legislative process. With a substantial show of support, Capitol Hill leaders are more likely to move the legislation to the floor. The bills, Senate Bill 545 and House Resolution 1029, ensure that the VINs of wrecked, flooded, or stolen vehicles are made publicly available before the cars are resold.


More information on total-loss disclosure, the corresponding legislation, and ways to contact your members of Congress can be found at:


In NADA news:


  • NADA President Phil Brady was elected chairman of Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES). He succeeds General Motors Chief Executive Rick Wagoner. Brady was elected at the recent meeting of the board of directors for AYES, a partnership of automotive manufacturers, dealers, and schools to encourage young people to consider automotive technician careers and prepare them for such positions.


"My priority will be to increase dealer participation and involvement in AYES," said Brady. AYES helps dealers find their next generation of technicians, young people jump-start their careers, and customers get better service from well-trained employees. Among the initiatives planned this year is a new long-distance Web-based program primarily for dealers in areas without an AYES school nearby. The NADA is a founding member of AYES, and nearly 4,000 auto dealers support the organization.


  • The NADA has received reports that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether a dealership violated the FTC Safeguards Rule by allegedly e-mailing customer information on a credit application to others without encrypting or otherwise securing it. Dealers are reminded that the Safeguards Rule requires dealers to protect not just customer information physically within the dealership, but also customer information that dealers "access, collect, distribute, process, protect, store, use, transmit, dispose of, or otherwise handle. . . ."


For additional information, dealers should consult the NADA’s A Dealer Guide to Safeguarding Customer Information and the FTC’s recently updated compliance guidance on the Safeguards Rule at 

  • Register now to reserve one of the remaining seats available for the Dealer Academy Successors’ class in May. Also, get on board for the General Managers’ class, which begins in September. The Dealer Academy program combines six class sessions (lasting one week every other month, with individual focuses on major dealership departments). Classes are taught at NADA headquarters in McLean, Va. Join the ranks of the nearly 6,000 graduates of the Dealer Academy programs. For an application or more information, please call 800-252-6232, ext. 5.


And please contact me at 847-395-3600 if you think the NADA can help you with your business concerns.