U.S. Lawmaker Forming Congressional Caucus on Vehicle Data Access

First Up 09/21/22

U.S. Lawmaker Forming Congressional Caucus on Vehicle Data Access

U.S. Rep. Earl Carter is forming a congressional caucus on vehicle data access that could lead to federal legislation. The Georgia Republican has sent a letter to colleagues in the House and Senate, inviting them to join the caucus and address policy issues related to access to and control of data generated by vehicles, reports Automotive News. Carter expects the group to hold its first meeting this fall and plans to move forward with preparing draft legislation on vehicle data access in the coming months, according to the letter.  "I know many of us have heard from a wide variety of stakeholders — consumers, insurers, fleets, independent repair shops and automotive recyclers, telematics and technology companies, vehicle manufacturers, auto dealers, agriculture groups, and others — on the subject of vehicle data access," Carter said in the letter. Through the caucus, he hopes to "work collaboratively and on a bipartisan basis to weigh the positions of these stakeholders and come up with draft vehicle data access legislation that will be supported through regular order." Click here for the full story.

NTSB Calls for Passive Alcohol-Detection Systems in All New Vehicles

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for all new vehicles to be equipped with passive alcohol-detection systems that can limit or prevent the operation of vehicles by impaired drivers. Automotive News reports the agency's recommendations follow an investigation into a 2021 crash in Avenal, Calif., that killed nine people, including seven children. The crash was caused by an impaired driver who was speeding, the NTSB found. "Technology could've prevented this heartbreaking crash — just as it can prevent the tens of thousands of fatalities from impaired-driving and speeding-related crashes we see in the U.S. annually," NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a statement. "We need to implement the technologies we have right here, right now, to save lives."  The NTSB is recommending that NHTSA require passive alcohol-detection systems, advanced driver-monitoring systems, or a combination of the two, on all new vehicles. The agency also recommends incentivizing automakers and consumers to adopt intelligent speed adaptation systems that could prevent speed-related crashes. Click here for the full story.

Are Clouds in Forecast for Blue Sky Dealership Values?

It’s hard to say when, but auto dealership values could be peaking, dealership broker Erin Kerrigan says. Kerrigan, founder and managing director-Kerrigan Advisors says the key question is, how long can dealerships sustain record-high profits? “Are Blue Sky Values Peaking?” is the provocative title of Kerrigan’s Sept. 13 webinar, hosted by AIADA. “They could be,” she says in answer to her own question after the event. “It is impossible to predict, given the continuation of record profitability.” Wards reports blue sky is the industry term for the amount a dealership buyer pays over and above the value of a dealership’s physical assets. The better the outlook for future profits, the higher the blue sky, Kerrigan says.  As of second-quarter 2022, the average blue sky in a dealership buy-sell was an estimated $12.1 million, up from $11 million in like-2021. That’s also almost double the average of $6.4 million in pre-pandemic 2019, according to Kerrigan Advisors. At the same time, buy-sell volume is at or near record levels. So far, the high price tags are not deterring buyers, brokers say. Click here for the full story.

How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable

About 350 miles northwest of Montreal, amid a vast pine forest, is a deep mining pit with walls of mottled rock. The pit has changed hands repeatedly and been mired in bankruptcy, but now it could help determine the future of electric vehicles. The mine contains lithium, an indispensable ingredient in electric car batteries that is in short supply. If it opens on schedule early next year, it will be the second North American source of that metal, offering hope that badly needed raw materials can be extracted and refined close to Canadian, U.S., and Mexican auto factories, in line with Biden administration policies that aim to break China’s dominance of the battery supply chain. The New York Times reports having more mines will also help contain the price of lithium, which has soared fivefold since mid-2021, pushing the cost of electric vehicles so high that they are out of reach for many drivers. The average new electric car in the United States costs about $66,000, just a few thousand dollars short of the median household income last year. Click here for the full story.

Bloomberg’s Kevin Tynan Reviews New Car Supply Data, Affordability Issues, and Inflation

Inventory and pricing data from August is in, and once again, on CBT News’ Inside Automotive, Kevin Tynan, Bloomberg Intelligence‘s Senior Automotive Analyst, joins to give us an update on the market.  First, the new California law prohibiting gas-powered new vehicle sales after 2035 is on many people’s minds. It tends to happen a lot — CEOs rotate, and those in charge now “may not be there in 2035,” Tynan explains. So much can change in five short years, so a tremendous amount could change between now and 2035. Consumers may purchase the vehicle from another state and drive it back to California, which could become a regular practice. Regardless, the companies will ultimately regulate just how many EVs go out for the first few years and do whatever is profitable. All-in-all, the carmaking world and consumers will react accordingly. Inventory has “kicked up,” Tynan says. Automakers see what’s happening at retail with their pricing, and as much as an extra million could enter the fray. Consumers could face the “pay sticker” situation, and processes improve by ordering online. Click here for the full interview.

Federated Insurance’s Claim of the Month — Could it Happen to You?

A customer brought their vehicle into an auto dealership for service, which required their tires to be taken off of the vehicle and replaced. After returning the vehicle to the customer, it was driven less than five miles when one of the tires came off and struck an oncoming vehicle. The vehicle that was struck by the customer’s tire sustained physical damage and the driver was injured. The investigation revealed that the technician who completed the repairs to the customer’s vehicle was in a hurry and failed to use a torque wrench when replacing the lug nuts on the tires.

CLAIM AMOUNT: $25,000.00 

Employees need to be trained on the proper use of a torque wrench for size and foot pounds, as well as pattern sequence to be used on a tire when replacing it onto the vehicle. It is important to torque to the specifications in order to maintain functionality for safety, as a tire-off loss can cause severe and costly injuries and property damage.

Visit federatedinsurance.com or contact your local marketing representative for resources you can use to create or enhance your own risk management program.

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