laws

Californians can now legally break into cars to rescue animals
Californians can now legally break into cars to rescue animals

By now, everyone knows that it's a terrible idea to leave pets in cars, especially during the warmer months. And yet, we've all seen pets trapped in cars. Sometimes, owners crack their car windows thinking that will help keep interior temperatures low, but in fact, it doesn't do much. Even on a...Read More»

2016 Tesla Model S
Tesla sues Michigan for the right to sell cars: is this the end of franchise laws?

The gloves have been loosening for years, and now, they've finally come off: Tesla Motors is preparing to throw punches in the courtroom as it sues Michigan for the right to sell cars. If the company makes its case successfully, it could have implications far beyond the borders of the Wolverine...Read More»

Electric-car rally in Geiranger, Norway [Image: Norsk elbilforening via Flickr]
Norway may ban all gas & diesel cars, starting in 2025

The days of gas and diesel vehicles are numbered in Norway. According to several reports, politicians have agreed to bring sales of such cars and trucks to a screeching halt by the year 2025. To Americans and many others, the thought of such a ban might seem absurd--even impossible--but Norway is...Read More»

Breathalyzer
Is Minnesota's alcohol breath test law legal? We're about to find out

At some point in your life, you've probably wondered, "Should I refuse an alcohol breath test?" There are a wide range of opinions on that thorny matter, which vary according to who's giving the advice, their interest in curtailing drunk driving, and, of course, where you're standing when you're...Read More»

New Jersey state flag
Texting and walking? Not in New Jersey, according to proposed law

Over the past several years, we've spilled a fair amount of virtual ink on the subject of distracted driving and its effect on the nation's traffic fatality rate. What we haven't discussed very often is the subject of distracted walking, which many blame for an uptick in pedestrian fatalities. But...Read More»

Elon Musk
Tesla mulls federal suit to sell in Texas, Michigan, other states (and Hurricane Katrina may help)

This is a very big week for Tesla. Just a few short months after delivering its first Model X crossovers to earlybird customers, the all-electric automaker will begin taking reservations for another new model tomorrow. Priced from $35,000, the Tesla Model 3 could dramatically boost Tesla's sales...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
The Law That Might've Required Dealers To Fix Recalled Used Cars Is Probably Dead

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a massive, multi-year transportation bill that could dramatically improve auto safety in the U.S. Sadly, that bill is now being carved up in Congress, and as we've seen many times before, elected officials are making a hatchet job of it. While some of the...Read More»

Money and car keys
Dealership's 'Closing Fees' Ruled Illegal In South Carolina, Court Hands Down $2.8 Million Judgment

South Carolina's Supreme Court has handed down a hefty win for auto shoppers. In a 3-2 ruling, justices found that Hendrick Honda of Easley shouldn't have been charging customers a $299 "closing fee" between 2002 and 2006. The decision will cost Hendrick some $2.8 million in actual (not punitive)...Read More»

Schoolhouse Rock: 'I'm Just A Bill'
Finally: House Passes Bill Requiring Rental Companies To Repair Recalled Cars (But It's Not Perfect)

The quest to move a multi-year transportation bill through the U.S. Congress met with a bit of success yesterday, as the House of Representatives passed its own version of the legislation. A similar version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act of 2015 was previously...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Senators Intro Bill To Require Recall Warning Lights On Dashboards, Mandatory Collision Avoidance

As everyone knows, 2014 was the Year of the Recall. Between fatal ignition switch flaws at General Motors and exploding airbags from Takata, recalls were at the forefront of everyone's mind. It wasn't just the volume of recalls that made 2014 remarkable, though. It was also the fact that some of...Read More»

Texas license plate featuring Confederate flag
Supreme Court Nixes Texas Confederate-Flag License Plates

Specialty license plates have become big business in recent years, but they've brought their share of troubles, too. While some plates feature innocuous school crests or happy, friendly natural landscapes, others court controversy with politically charged slogans. That's made things tough for DMVs...Read More»

 CarMax auto superstore in Raleigh, North Carolina (pic by Ildar Sagdejev)
Is CarMax Selling Unrepaired Recalled Vehicles? You Betcha -- And So Are Other Used-Car Dealers

If you're planning to do some used-car shopping this weekend, take extra care to ensure that your next pride and joy doesn't have any outstanding recalls. Two consumer watchdogs -- the California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (CALPIRG) and the Consumers for Auto Reliability and...Read More»

OJ Simpson in vintage Hertz ad
Senate & House Consider Bills To Force Rental Companies To Repair Recalled Cars

Rental car companies like Avis and Hertz aren't required to fix recalled vehicles before loaning them to customers. Several years ago, that yielded tragic results for Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, two sisters who were killed after unknowingly renting a recalled car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The...Read More»

Tesla Motors gallery in Houston Galleria, opened October 2011, with Model S on display
Tesla Triumphs In Maryland As New Bill Allows Sales At Four Sites: Which State Is Next?

Another one bites the dust -- and more will surely follow. Auto News reports that the Maryland legislature has passed a bill that would allow Tesla to open up to four retail locations in the state. Governor Larry Hogan hasn't indicated whether he'll sign the bill, but at least one delegate with...Read More»

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
Should NHTSA Be Able To Stop Sales Of Flawed Cars On Its Own?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversees a long, thorough process for recalling flawed vehicles. It collects complaints, launches investigations, and formally requests recalls from automakers. One thing NHTSA can't do, though, is halt sales of poorly or improperly manufactured...Read More»

2014 Tesla Model S
Tesla Wins In Georgia, Loses In West Virginia

For Tesla fans below the Mason-Dixon line, we have good news and bad news, courtesy of Auto News. Since it's Friday, we'll start with the good news: Georgia has passed a bill that (a) increases the number of outlets that Tesla can operate in the state and (b) allows the automaker to sell an...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Federal Bill Would Force Owners To Get Recalled Cars Repaired (But Is It Legal?)

Many have dubbed 2014 "The Year of the Recall", but in fact, recalls have been on the minds of legislators for a very long time. Now, two U.S. Senators -- Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) -- want to tighten the laws around recalls in ways that might affect you. We have to...Read More»

Tesla owners & supporters gather in Statehouse in Austin to support company [photo: John Griswell]
Is Tesla Finally Coming To Texas? (And If So, Is It Thanks To The Gigafactory And The Hyperloop?)

Across much of America, it's cold today. Newscasters explain that by pointing to a blast of icy air swooping in from the North Pole, but others might think that the chill is coming from beneath their feet. Those folks know that a bill is being considered by the Texas legislature that could finally...Read More»

UberCab app
Uber Updates Ridesharing App Following Sexual Assault Charges In Boston, Chicago

We weren't invited to Uber's New Year's Eve party, but we have to imagine that company execs were double-fisting the Dom Perignon to blot out the memory of 2014. A new upgrade to the ridesharing start-up's smartphone app may signal a more sober approach to doing business in 2015. BACKGROUND Uber's...Read More»

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