Automotive Industry

News & Analysis as of

Proceed with Caution: Vehicle to Vehicle Communication Technology

Will the brave new world of automobiles include talking vehicles? According to a plan by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), the answer is yes. NHTSA has provided advanced notice that it intends to...more

Exempt or Not? Service Advisors

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires payment of a minimum hourly wage and overtime, unless an employee fits within one of many exemptions. In some parts of the United States, courts had ruled that automobile service...more

Why It's Wise to Pay Attention to Your FCPA Compliance

Companies in the automotive industry would be wise to pay attention to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) compliance. What has in the past been a risk management issue principally for massive multi-national...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still...

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service...more

Consumers in Lemon-Law Cases Not Entitled to Postjudgment Interest on Attorney’s Fee Award Paid Before Final Judgment

In Hyundai Motor America v. Superior Court (filed 3/20/15, No. G051279), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, determined that the plaintiff consumer was not entitled to postjudgment interest on an...more

The Auto Industry: The Next "Big" Target for Hackers?

Given the exponential rise in security breaches and hacking activity in past few years and the almost constant headlines in the press of yet another major security breach, information security should be a front burner issue...more

Illinois company’s safety violations contributed to worker’s death

A 21-year-old auto manufacturing operator was crushed to death in 2014 because of safety violations at an Illinois supply plant, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration....more

IP Newsflash - March 2015 #2

DISTRICT COURT CASES - Patent Misuse is Not a Stand-Alone Cause of Action - Plaintiffs Continental Automotive GmbH and Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. (collectively Continental) filed a complaint iBiquity...more

NDRC’s Qualcomm Decision Sends Mixed Messages

Chinese New Year celebrations culminated in a big way for foreign multinationals in China with the news at the end of February that the head of the National Development and Reform Commission’s (“NDRC's”) Antitrust Bureau had...more

PTAB Excludes Documents Corroborating Publication Date as Hearsay but Admits Librarian Testimony - Toyota Motor Corporation v....

In a final written decision, the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent (PTO) Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) granted in part the patent owner’s motion to exclude certain documents purporting to corroborate the...more

Voice-based vehicle systems focus of new cognitive distraction study

Many new automobiles come equipped with voice-based technology, which allows drivers to control certain functions of their vehicle with the sound of their voice. This technology was originally designed to minimize the amount...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The General Assembly was extremely busy this week. The House adopted a comprehensive ethics reform bill similar to the individual bills already sent to the Senate, legislation authorizing a veterans’ services study committee...more

CFPB “Keeping Watchful Eye on Auto Lending Market”

On February 23, CFPB Director Richard Cordray delivered prepared remarks at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. In his remarks, Cordray indicated that the CFPB is keeping a...more

Low Carbon Fuel Bill Passed In Oregon Senate

On February 26, 2015, the Oregon State Senate passed Senate Bill 324 (SB 324), a measure that would require fuel producers to reduce the amount of carbon in car and truck fuels....more

Employee Who Was Working Elsewhere During Medical Leave Of Absence Was Properly Terminated

Avery Richey worked for Power Toyota Cerritos, part of the AutoNation consortium of automobile dealerships, for approximately four years before allegedly injuring his back while moving furniture at his home. Following the...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2015

Renewable Energy Focus: California to spend $20 million on building part of 'hydrogen highway' - Los Angeles Times - Feb 22: The California Energy Commission is spending $20 million to build nearly half...more

EPA Announces It Will Release New Guidelines on Vehicle MPG Ratings

The EPA announced, on February 23, 2015, that it will release new guidelines for vehicle fuel economy testing. The new guidelines will apply next year and will address how vehicles should be prepared and broken in before fuel...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - February 2015 (Updated)

In This Issue - White House Releases Proposed Privacy Legislation - Lessons from the Anthem Data Breach - SEC and FINRA Release Results of Industrywide Cybersecurity Examination Sweeps - COSO Releases Report on...more

Proving vehicle defect after an auto accident

When motorists purchase a vehicle, they put their complete trust in the manufacturers and workers who built it. In many instances, however, defects in these vehicles can cause or contribute to accidents, some of which become...more

Smart Car Legislation Suggests Different Approach To Internet Of Things Regulation

On February 11, Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced legislation aimed at establishing federal data security and privacy standards for Internet-connected automobiles (“smart cars”). This...more

CERCLA’s Confusion Between Section 107 and Section 113

Over a decade after the Supreme Court’s decision in Cooper Industries v. Aviall, the divide between CERCLA Section 107 cost recovery claims and Section 113 contribution claims remains unsettled. PRPs incurring response costs...more

Colorado Continues Its Support for CNGs in 2015

Despite the uncertainty created by low oil prices, Colorado is pushing ahead in 2015 with efforts to expand the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel. Earlier this month, the Colorado Energy Office...more

DOJ and North Carolina AG Settle First-Ever Federal Discrimination Suit Involving Auto Lending

On February 10, the DOJ, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina and the North Carolina AG, announced the settlement of the federal government’s discrimination suit involving two “buy...more

Senators Trying to Hit the Brakes on Smart Cars, Citing Privacy and Security Concerns

On February 11, Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced that they would introduce legislation intended to address the data privacy and security vulnerabilities with Internet-connected cars. The...more

US China Trade War–Developments in Trade, Trade Politics, Patents/IP, Antitrust and Securites

On January 11thth, I put up my last post stating that because of its length, I have broken up the post into two parts. This February post includes a Trade, Customs and IP update with longer sections on Antitrust and...more

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