Turbulence in global fuel economy standards are putting new pressures on the automotive industry to shift its thinking on gasoline and electrification. In late July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) formally announced its upcoming reevaluation of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2022-2025. Since the 1970s, NHTSA has been setting fuel economy requirements for cars sold in the U.S. in order to promote improving fuel efficiency in response to the OPEC Oil Embargo. Under the current standards, each automaker is expected to reach a fuel economy of 54.5 MPG across all of its vehicles sold, which represents a rapid increase of fuel economy standards starting in 2011 (standards had been mostly unchanged over the preceding two decades).
While state attorney generals and Federal Regulators scramble to assemble regulations around autonomous vehicles and legacy car manufacturers look to avoid market-share erosion from unknown competitors, another group needs to closely watch the way autonomous vehicles and next-gen transit tech impacts their day to day life. Local governments units and businesses need to keep a keen eye out for, and be prepared to react to, the endless cycle of disruption that will inevitably hit their communities through the advent of autonomous vehicles and next-gen transit tech. In the not-so-distant future, local regulations and rules will change, methods for transporting people and goods will shift, and the way communities are designed, planned, and built will drastically alter. Businesses and local governments need to understand of how autonomous vehicles and next-gen transit technologies will impact other facets of day to day life, from government revenue loss to suburban dystopic sprawl and the impact both of these could have on local residents and businesses operations.
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.