Spotlight on Privacy in the Automotive Industry

AutomotivePrivacy

Privacy is a hot topic these days, and the automotive industry is no exception. Connected cars, in-car location services, telematics systems, event data records (black boxes), driverless cars, online consumer targeted advertising, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, mobile apps for cars, data analytics by insurance companies, Apple and Google operating systems for cars – all of these developments are shining a brighter spotlight on privacy in the automotive industry. Consumers and privacy advocates are becoming more and more concerned about privacy violations that may result from the IoT – the “Internet of things” – and cars are part of the IoT infrastructure. OEMs, component part manufacturers, suppliers, service organizations, distributors and dealers all find themselves in the chain of handling personal information and accordingly should be concerned about legal compliance, public relations and customer relationships when it comes to dealing with customer information. Continue reading this entry

Obama Pushes Smart Automotive Technology

WhiteHouse

Here at the Dashboard, we have been leading the charge that the Auto Industry is undergoing a technical revolution. Whether it be new materials, adaptive vehicles, software, or something else, every car you buy, lease or drive is more technologically advanced than the next.

The government recognizes this too. As reported by Law360, on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, President Barack Obama was publicly acknowledging the need for government to invest more in smart auto technology. Companies recognize this as car companies keep showing up at technology forums and technology companies invade automotive territory. Not only are vehicles at issue, but so is infrastructure with the current congressional negotiations over the U.S. Highway Trust Fund.

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Timing May Be Everything in Breach of Warranty Claims

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In the wake of the recent recalls and warranty campaigns, suppliers should bear in mind the threshold statute of limitations defense that they may have to any attempts by the OEMs to recover against them for costs for issues that the OEMs may have known about for years, but failed to act upon. An OEM seeking to recover against a supplier for an alleged breach must clear two timing hurdles: (1) warranty eligibility, meaning that the claim falls within the applicable warranty period; and (2) timeliness under the UCC’s four-year statute of limitations period. The expiration of the four-year statute of limitations period may be an absolute defense to certain breach of contract and breach of warranty claims.    Continue reading this entry

To Stay Union Free, Auto Industry Employers Must Be Prepared

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As a member of the automotive industry, you know unions are not going away anytime soon regardless of recent defeats like those suffered by the UAW at Volkswagen in Tennessee. The UAW and others have stepped up their organizing efforts and do not be surprised if they come knocking on your company’s door seeking to “enlighten” your workforce. After all, the UAW did not recently raise dues for the first time in decades for nothing. Instead of sitting back and hoping unions do not make an appearance at your workplace; there are some basic tips for keeping your house in order to help stay union free. Continue reading this entry

FTC 2014 Amendments to Used Auto Parts Guides

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The Federal Trade Commission announced amendments, on July 8, 2014, to its Used Auto Parts Guides, intended to prevent unfair or deceptive marketing of used motor vehicle parts and assemblies containing used parts. The FTC’s amended Guides will become effective on August 22, 2014, and complement disclosure requirements in place in at least some states.

In light of FTC’s authority to investigate and challenge — under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 45 — conduct it finds unfair or deceptive, it is important for parties engaged in the “manufacture, sale, distribution, marketing and advertising (including advertising in electronic format, such as the Internet) of parts that are not new, and assemblies containing such parts,” to understand the disclosure requirements of the Guides. Continue reading this entry