A Busy Year for NHTSA Enforcement and Rulemaking

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This promises to be one of NHTSA’s busiest years for enforcement and rulemaking activity. NHTSA is expected to continue its aggressive enforcement, sparked by GM’s massive ignition switch recall and the flood of follow-on recalls by GM and other manufacturers. And the agency is moving forward with research and possible rulemaking on advanced crash avoidance technologies, driver distraction, and autonomous vehicles, and with implementing enhancements to its recall processes. To reduce their compliance risks, and to prepare themselves and their products to meet these new regulatory developments, Foley clients that manufacture vehicles or motor vehicle equipment are urged to revisit their safety compliance policies and procedures and to implement regulatory monitoring programs. Continue reading this entry

Best Practices in Drafting U.S. Government Subcontract Terms and Conditions

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Federal government subcontracts are a hybrid between commercial contracts governed by state law (such as, for the sale of goods, the Uniform Commercial Code) and government contracts governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and FAR agency supplemental clauses. A “subcontract” is broadly defined in FAR 44.101 as any contract “entered into by a subcontractor to furnish supplies or services for performance of a prime contract or subcontract. It includes but is not limited to purchase orders, and changes and modifications to purchase orders.” Continue reading this entry

¿No Va? ¡Si va! Investing in Mexico’s Auto Industry

U.S. and Japan Continue Talks on Auto Tariffs

Mexico, our neighbor to the south, is growing every day as a leading producer in the automobile industry. Presently, Mexico is the world’s largest producer of light vehicles and the second largest in Latin America. Companies in Mexico in the light vehicle industry have approximately 18 production complexes located in 11 states in Mexico. These complexes consist of activities ranging from assembly to stamping and bodywork.

Currently, the Mexican Auto Industry (MAI) accounts for 4% of the national GDP and 20% of manufacturing production and the MAI is only expected to continue increasing in the future. Continue reading this entry

BYOD and the Auto Industry: A Marriage Made in Heaven or Hell?

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By all accounts, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work is catching on like wildfire because virtually every American worker holds a device in the palm of their hand which is faster and more powerful than some of the most powerful desktop computers from as little as ten years ago. As employees at all levels of the corporate structure live their life through their little device, they are demanding to do their work through those devices as well. With the ever increasing network of manufacturing processes and equipment, supply chain and distribution methods, and dealer inventory controls, the ability to conduct all aspects of the auto industry’s business through a hand held device becomes easier each day. Even if management ignores employees’ demands, there are powerful incentives for employers to adopt a BYOD policy. Similarly, there are plenty of things that can go wrong when a company allows BYOD. Here are some tips for making sure BYOD is a marriage made in heaven. Continue reading this entry

NHTSA, NLRB, and OSHA Oh My! The Agencies ARE Ganging Up

OSHA Turns Its Sights on Auto Suppliers

Feeling a bit paranoid these days, especially where government oversight or agency investigations are involved? Your perception of reality is probably being driven less by paranoia and more by the upticks in government activity, and that twitchy sense of more government scrutiny is actually well justified. Just when the Auto Industry was feeling the squeeze of recalls, NHTSA, and other safety related investigations from OEMs down to the lowest tier suppliers, now others are coming after the industry (and other industries). In addition to executive agency actions placing more requirements on contractors, government agencies are practicing sharing and cooperation – and in ways that may not have quite the positive results you might normally expect (or that you might have learned in kindergarten). Continue reading this entry