laws

Dealership's 'Closing Fees' Ruled Illegal In South Carolina, Court Hands Down $2.8 Million Judgment
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»

Texting while driving
Report: Hand-Held Cell Phone Bans Don't Make Roads Any Safer

As of today, 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have passed laws preventing drivers from using hand-held cell phones. A whopping 44 states (plus D.C. and the above territories) prohibit texting behind the wheel -- an act that tends to involve a...Read More»

Railroad map prepared by the Michigan Railroad Commission, circa 1876.
GM Announces Support For Michigan's Anti-Tesla Bill, Governor Then Signs It

Last week, we told you about a hastily amended bill in Michigan that would prevent Tesla from setting up shop in the Wolverine State. It had passed both houses of the legislature and was headed to Governor Rick Snyder's desk. The only question remaining was: would Snyder sign it? Then yesterday...Read More»

Michigan State Flag
In Michigan, Bill To Ban Tesla Sales Heads To Governor's Desk: Will He Sign It?

In Michigan, a recently passed bill could prevent Tesla Motors from selling its electric vehicles directly to consumers. Tesla says that the hastily approved legislation violates the spirit of its ongoing negotiations with state regulators. Who pushed the bill through the legislature? Will Governor...Read More»

Gavel. Image: Brian Turner
Judge Cuts Hyundai's Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit

In May of this year, a jury in Montana ruled against Hyundai, siding with the families of two teenage boys who died in a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon. The jury set a massive, $240 million penalty, which Hyundai subsequently appealed. According to Auto News, the judge in the case has now cut that fine by...Read More»

Google Self-Driving Car Prototype
Not So Fast, Google: Autonomous Cars In California Still Need Steering Wheels, Brakes

In May of this year, California's Department of Motor Vehicles published safety guidelines aimed at manufacturers of self-driving cars. A few days later, Google unveiled a prototype of its first autonomous car built in-house. The prototype looked dramatically different from the modified Toyota...Read More»

Parking ticket (via Flickr user Paul Henman)
Traveling In Canada This Summer? Don't Park With Your Windows Down

In states and towns across America, you can find plenty of dumb laws on the books. In Washington state, for example, it's illegal to harass Bigfoot. In Louisiana, stealing an alligator could result in a ten-year jail term. And until 1997, it was against the law to sell doughnut holes in Leigh...Read More»

2014 Tesla Model S
Tesla Poised For Triumph In New Jersey, Could Relaunch Sales Next Month

In the not-too-distant future, someone is going to make a documentary about electric automaker Tesla. It'll be weightier than the one National Geographic put together, and hopefully, it'll be long enough to cover the many twists and turns along the company's road to success -- including one that...Read More»

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