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Strength in numbers—and unity

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

The board of directors of the American International Automobile Dealers Association has voted to form a connected political action committee. If the AIADA follows through with its plan, all dealers should be aware of considerations that could create legal risks for them. 

The Dealers Election Action Committee is a connected PAC, meaning it is controlled by the NADA and, under federal election law, can solicit donations only from association members. If the AIADA creates a second connected PAC, they might ask dealers who are also NADA members to give written permission to be solicited by the new PAC. But dealers can give permission to solicit to only one connected PAC each year.


If NADA members who have given solicitation permission to DEAC sign and return the AIADA’s permission form, they could inadvertently violate federal election law, whether or not they actually contribute to both PACs in one year. 

While we certainly hope that you continue to support DEAC, our primary concern is avoiding legal exposure for NADA members. If you have questions, please call DEAC at 703-821-7110.


Of course, the NADA’s success in Washington is not due solely to DEAC. The association’s Legislative Affairs and Regulatory Affairs staffs have been especially busy recently:  

Officials of the NADA testified before the Senate Nov. 16 for improved vehicle title data and history information to be made public faster and more uniform, so that consumers and dealers might be protected from flooded and salvaged vehicle fraud. Don Hall, president of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, presented testimony on behalf of the NADA to the Senate Consumer Affairs, Product Safety and Insurance Subcommittee. Complete coverage is


In his testimony, Hall noted, "Any buyer should have pre-purchase access to information about significant vehicle damage that may affect safety, drivability, durability and market value." He also pointed out that each state and the District of Columbia registers vehicles differently, inviting fraud and making it easier for unscrupulous rebuilders to have damaged vehicle titles "washed" in these states. 

Even without enacting title branding legislation, the NADA recommended to Congress that states should carry forward prior brands when issuing new titles; brand registrations; title motor vehicles electronically; work more closely with DMVs, insurance companies, salvage auctions and the information technology industry to speed total loss information to consumers; and enact penalties to prevent attempts at circumventing disclosure.


In several recent speeches, NADA Chairman Jack Kain has called for the establishment of a national title branding database and for vehicle history and title information to be readily available so that dealers and their customers know what they are buying. "We will all benefit when complete title information gets to dealers and consumers more quickly," he said. 

The NADA and Experian Automotive have established a hotline and e-mail services (800-509-5489 and, to provide NADA members with free branded title and other information to check vehicles for hurricane damage.


In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, the NADA expressed support for regulations that would control the purchase and use of automotive refinishing. The EPA has been gathering information from various sources throughout the collision repair industry as it prepares to draft tougher emissions rules for the refinish industry and implement them in the next few years.  

The NADA continues to work to educate consumers about car-buying and financing and ownership. The association’s "Smart Car Buyer’s Guide: Getting the Most from Your Dealership" appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of Time magazine. It’s also available at A copy will be included with the January 2006 issue of AutoExec magazine. To order additional copies of the guide for your customers, contact Naxhieli Acosta at Copies are sold in packages of 100 for $39.95 each, plus tax, shipping and handling.


And as we reflect at year’s end, let me wish all my fellow dealers a happy and joyous holiday season and a prosperous 2006.