On Autonomous Vehicles, Don’t Let Feds Grab Power From The States

The House Energy and Commerce Committee tomorrow is voting on a bill to help automakers introduce autonomous vehicles (AVs) into the nation’s fleet of cars and trucks.
While the bill has broad bipartisan support, at issue are provisions in the bill that would pre-empt state laws – ostensibly to keep states from drawing up their own set of safety standards.
The goal of the bill is to avoid fifty safety standards for autonomous vehicles in fifty states – a noble goal. Automakers can’t create fifty different versions of their cars to adhere to fifty state standards.
However, the bill could also theoretically up-end state laws that govern motor vehicle operation, which has a number of groups concerned. Consumer groups are worried about whether the law would end state lemon laws. Insurance companies are focused on state insurance regulations. Local car dealerships are concerned about state motor vehicle franchise laws.

Automobiles …
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Fraud Allegations Fuel Ongoing Controversy Over PowerShift Transmission in Ford Focus and Fiesta Models

DETROIT, July 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — There are approximately 1.5 million current or former owners and lessees of 2012-2016 Ford Focus and 2011-2016 Ford Fiestas affected by an uncorrectable and dangerous PowerShift transmission defect. While this issue has been festering in the U.S. for several years, Australia’s top consumer protection agency now alleges ‘misleading,’ ‘deceptive’ and ‘unconscionable’ efforts by Ford in their effort to conceal this transmission defect.

Ford Focus and Fiesta owners have long reported consistent jerking and shuddering while driving these vehicles, and many have experienced delayed acceleration and deceleration. In some instances, drivers reported unintended acceleration when stopped at traffic lights, and other times the cars would roll backwards on an incline.

To avoid or limit its liability under these state and federal consumer protection laws, Ford has entered into a Class Action Settlement that is binding on current and former Focus and Fiesta owners, and lessees of …
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Here’s the No. 1 consumer complaint in America

Americans love their cars, but their cars — and the auto industry — doesn’t always love them back. Auto-related problems are the most common complaints among consumers, who cited everything from misrepresentations in sales to leasing disputes, according to a new report from the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. The report surveyed 39 state and local consumer protection agencies in 23 states about the most common complaints they received last year. Leasing used cars is emerging as a sore spot for consumers, who may be attracted to the practice since it typically requires little or no down payment. But interest rates can be high, and “lemon laws” and other regulations may not apply to used cars that are leased, the study said. “Consumers may be stuck with used cars that repeatedly break down or be on the hook for costly repairs,” the study noted. In one …
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Christian Rice Named 2017 Law School Scholarship Winner

Dana Point, CA, July 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — “It’s truly a privilege for us to be able to give something back to the community that has given so much to us,” said Aaron Fhima, a partner at the law firm. “We’re really proud to have Christian as this year’s winner. He has proven himself to be an intelligent young man and a hard worker, and we’re sure he’s going to make a positive contribution not just to our community, but far beyond it. To be able to contribute to his education is an honor.”Christian Rice, originally from La Mesa, Calif., is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in government and minored in philosophy. He was a policy analyst in the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Rice began work last year for the National …
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How to properly buy or sell a used car

The recent news of the 19-year-old who sold a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder to the suspect in the Times Square bomb threat has sparked some questions about the best way to sell a used car.The student posted the ad on Craigslist and received $1,300 cash for it from Faisal Shahzad, but there wasn’t any paperwork between seller and buyer, so there was no record of the transaction. Luckily, authorities were able to track down Shahzad through the VIN and cell phone number he used.In order for a vehicle to be properly registered, the title would have had to been signed over to the new owner. In many states, a Bill of Sale and proof of insurance is also required. In a traditional deal, rather than the circumstances surrounding this unusual purchase, the lack of paperwork would have been a serious problem.While there are some benefits to buying a used …
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Ogden family warns about parvo after adopted puppy dies; rescue responds

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OGDEN, Utah — An Ogden family is warning others after a puppy they bought from a local rescue died days later from a virus. Now vets and animal advocates are echoing their concerns.
“I cried,” Samantha Newll of Ogden said. “It’s hard because you get your kids this dog, something they’ve never had before that they’ve always wanted, and within a week the dog is dead.”
It was the last Saturday in June when the Newell family welcomed Cocoa into their family. Filling out his adoption papers, looking over his vaccinations and paying the fee to Pack N’ Pounce.
“My kids were obsessed with him,” Samantha said.
But after one day in their home the Newells realized something was wrong with Cocoa.
“Sunday he hadn’t eaten anything and he was throwing up Sunday night all over my house,” Newell …
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