Last week, ARA called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate
potential breaches of warranty laws by automotive manufacturers. ARA is
concerned that several manufacturers have used language that implies that
warranties are tied to the use of new, authorized replacement parts, which is
illegal under the Magnuson-Moss Act. ARA also said “automakersâ€™ unfounded
disparagement” of recycled OEM parts could violate the Lanham Act, which
prohibits false advertisement and other trademark-related activities. The ARA
cited recent statements by Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai as cause for
the investigation, which it requested in the letter.
Copies of the letters and position statements are below.
Used Oil Update
Per a court mandate, EPA was ordered to publish a final regulation by Feb. 21,
2011 that would determine whether used oil could efficiently still be burned as
fuel. As of today, February 22nd, the rule has not yet been published.
Over the past several months, the proposed rules have prompted close to 300
elected officials to voice their concerns about the possible job and economic
impacts of the rule to the EPA. Earlier this month, 61 freshman members of
Congress, including Charlie Bass (R-NH) sent a letter to the EPA urging them to
pass standards that are “achievable under normal operating conditions” and
that are “cost effective rules that protect public health”.
In January, 2011, a similar letter was signed by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), John
Boozman (R-AR), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Dan Coats (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND) Ron
Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rand
Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Pat Toomey (R-PA)
and sent to the EPA.
In addition, in September, 2010, forty-one United States Senators – 18 Democrats
and 23 Republicans â€“ also sent a letter to Administrator Jackson. The following
eight Senators did not join the bipartisan letter mentioned above, but did sign
individual or small group letters: Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Al Franken (D-MN),
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Sherrod
Brown (D-OH), Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Carl Levin (D-MI). Further, a bipartisan
group of 114 members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote a letter
expressing their concerns to Administrator Jackson on August 2, 2010. Reps.
David Obey (D-7th WI) and David Wu (D-1st OR) sent separate letters to EPA
asking that concerns be addressed. Your ARA staff have talked with several of
these members and expressed ARAâ€™s position on the issue.
As well, at least 21 governors from both parties have written similar letters to
Administrator Jackson on the jobs impact of the Boiler MACT regulations,
including: Haley Barbour (R-MS), Mike Beebe (D-AR), Robert Bentley (R-AL), Terry
Branstad (R-IA), Phil Bredesen (D-TN), Tom Corbett (R-PA), John Baldacci (D-ME),
Mark Dayton (D-MN), Jim Doyle (D-WI), Christine Gregoire (D-WA), Theodore
Kulongowski (D-OR), Linda Lingle (R-HI), John Lynch (D-NH), Robert McDonnell
(R-VA), Butch Otter (R-ID), Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Bev Perdue (D-NC), Sonny
Perdue (R-GA), Bob Riley (R-AL), Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), and Ted
Staff is checking the publication status hourly and will let the profession know of
EPA’s ruling as soon as the regulation is published.
Greece Launches Cash For Clunkers Program
Albeit a bit later than the U.S. and even other European countries, Greece has
now joined the cash-for-clunkers craze. After months of bureaucratic delays,
the government program was scheduled to finally kick off yesterday, February
21, and will run until December 20 – there is hope to garner an anticipated 2.5
million eligible cars for scrappage this way.
The program is geared to getting cars off the road that are 12+ years old in
exchange for a discount of up to â‚¬2,800 (approximately $3,800)on a new
vehicle. Savings will be limited to those purchasing a car with an engine
capacity under 2,000 cc, with additional tax exemptions for engine capacity of
901 – 1,400 cc.
New car sales in November fell 63.4 percent compared to sales of the previous
November, following several months of equally low sales figures. It is hoped that
this effort will boost tax revenues and a lagging economy.
Greece’s Transport Ministry general secretary Harris Tsiokas stated that he’s
looking into providing incentives for customers that purchase hybrid cars as well
as ending the current ban on cars running on diesel fuel driving in Athens or