Disputes in the Manufacturing Supply Chain

OESA Sees Sunny Skies for Auto Industry

Disputes in the automotive supply chain often involve questions concerning warranties, warranty disclaimers, limitations on remedies and limitations on damages. Understanding the basics of warranty law is critical to managing and litigating these disputes. The starting point in most commercial cases involves analyzing the warranty given to the buyer by the seller when supplying automotive components. These include both express warranties and implied warranties under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Express warranties arise from affirmations of fact by the seller and may be created by oral statements, advertisements, specifications, drawings, samples or models. Implied warranties under the UCC include the implied warranty of merchantability and the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. Continue reading this entry

2014 Automotive Industry Predictions – How Did We Do?

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At the beginning of this year, the Dashboard Insights team made some predictions about issues suppliers would face in 2014. In fact, we even dedicated an entire white paper to the subject. Our thoughts were that suppliers would see a variety of legal issues this year, including:

  • Issues relating to the U.S. Department of Justice and their aggressive criminal antitrust investigation of the auto parts industry
  • Warranty litigation (we wrote a white paper on that too)

Continue reading this entry

Market for Collision-Avoidance Technology Booms as Cars Become Smarter

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Many mass-market vehicles include sensors and cameras to assist motorists with parking and backing up, and some models even include lane change assist and smart cruise control to maintain a safe distance from traffic ahead. According to IHS Automotive, the demand for collision avoidance technology is predicted to nearly triple from $3.94 billion this year to $9.90 billion in 2020. Continue reading this entry

Patent Office Extends AFCP 2.0 and QPIDS Pilot Programs to September 2015

New Federal Trade Secret Protections on the Horizon?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) just announced it has extended the After Final Consideration Pilot program (AFCP 2.0) and the Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement program (QPIDS), which are now set to run until September 30, 2015.

For automotive, manufacturing, and other companies, the AFCP 2.0 and QPIDS programs can help reduce patent-related expenses and shorten the patent process by addressing different late-stage patent prosecution issues. Continue reading this entry

"Turning Up the Heat" – Organizing Efforts in the South

OSHA Turns Its Sights on Auto Suppliers

It is no coincidence that the incredible resurgence of manufacturing in the Southeastern United States occurred in the absence of unionized facilities. Automotive, aerospace, and appliance manufacturers have flocked to the South, from the Carolinas, to Alabama, and Kentucky, where they enjoy pro-employer wages without the increased monetary and non-monetary costs associated with a union environment. Of course, there are other advantages such as certain tax incentives and lower costs of living in comparison to elsewhere in the country. But a non-union labor force is certainly one of the main factors that drove the manufacturing boom in the South during the past few years. Even foreign companies like Chinese appliance manufacturer Haier Group and computer manufacturer Lenovo opened factories in the Carolinas, recognizing the benefits of a lower cost workforce. BMW’s largest facility outside of Germany is located in Greer, South Carolina. Continue reading this entry