Automotive companies are keenly aware of their responsibility for knowing the safety standards applicable to their businesses. But many do not understand their rights and obligations during the inspection process. In recent years, after adding more than 100 compliance officers, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) has been increasing the number of inspections, citations, and litigation it undertakes, including in the automotive industry. The following tips should help you properly handle OSHA inspections.
One of the changes in approach that the current administration has taken to the legal system—a change often overshadowed by other headlines—is the current administration’s willingness to enforce arbitration clauses. While this has garnered some attention in connection with the Trump administration’s position on arbitration provisions in nursing home agreements, the administration has quietly shifted its course on enforcing arbitration agreements in other realms as well.
Headlines for state attorneys general (AGs) have been dominated by tangles with the Trump administration — from the travel ban case going to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenges to legacy regulations at federal agencies. Less visible are actions by state AGs to push forward their interests and influence in technology-oriented consumer products, particularly driverless cars.
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR)’s annual Management Briefing Seminars kicked off on Monday in Traverse City, Michigan. Tuesday’s sessions included a detailed update and outlook on “The North American Market: Sales and Production Footprint,” presented by a panel of leading automotive forecasters, analysts and suppliers. The subtitle to this otherwise sterile title could have been “The Sky Is Not Falling,” a theme that was echoed by several of the presenters. And, while the current volumes remain healthy if not plateaued, all of the speakers stressed that the companies who will have success in the automotive industry over the next 15-20 years will be the ones who can best make the walk from today’s market to the 2030+ market that features more full (L5) autonomy and electrification. In other words: success will depend on the ability to live in today and tomorrow’s worlds at the same time.
As the race to deploy highly autonomous vehicles continues, the promise of a more ubiquitous presence of autonomous vehicles has led to a patchwork of regulations as states attempt to prepare for the inevitability of a self-driving car. Twenty-two states have either passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles or adopted regulations through a governor’s executive order. This patchwork of legislation ranges from the simple, such as authorizing a study on autonomous vehicles, to robust requirements for automated vehicles. As previously covered on Dashboard Insights, the Auto Industry has been advocating for federal (rather than state-by-state) regulation of autonomous vehicles, hoping to bring more consistency and to encourage innovation. On July 28th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee stepped into the mix by voting 54 – 0 to advance to the full House a bill known as the “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act” (“SELF DRIVE Act”), H.R. 3388. The SELF DRIVE Act would be the first major federal effort to regulate autonomous vehicles beyond the previously adopted “voluntary” guidelines.