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63Ohio Senate strips anti-Tesla amendment from bill

Tesla's strategy to sell cars, such as the Model S, through manufacturer-owned retail stores has rubbed traditional franchise auto dealerships the wrong way. The battle between Tesla and the Ohio Auto Dealers Association heated up quickly over the past week because a proposed amendment to an Ohio road-maintenance worker safety bill (Senate Bill 137) threatened to ban Tesla stores in Ohio. The automaker asked for help from its supporters to fight the amendment, and on Tuesday all 12 members of th

71NHTSA claims power to regulate smartphones in cars, will issue guidelines next year

Back in April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released voluntary guidelines covering the use of in-car infotainment and communications in the hopes that automakers would reconfigure their systems to make them safer. But on Tuesday, NHTSA administrator David Strickland said at a congressional hearing that the administration has the authority to set vehicle smartphone guidelines and will release new voluntary guidelines next year, casting a wider net than the ones released in A

1Government Speeds Research On Car Safety Systems

Seat belts and alcohol test would be required to start car

The government is speeding up research on safety systems that automatically prevent drivers from operating their cars if they are drunk or aren't properly buckled in.

113Treasury sells almost 1/3 of remaining GM stock

When we last checked the status of the federal government's stake in General Motors in September, it owned about 7.3 percent - roughly 101-million shares worth about $3.7 billion - of the automaker. In October, the Fed sold almost a third of its remaining stake, or 29- to 30-million shares valued at about $1.2 billion, The Detroit News reports. Currently the government owns around 71-million shares.

40Senate panel debating if NHTSA is advancing auto regulations quickly enough

The number of vehicle deaths in the US has fallen since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was created in 1966, even as the number of drivers on the road has greatly increased and the number of miles they drive has increased exponentially more. But a Senate panel is debating whether NHTSA is moving fast enough to curb vehicle deaths, The Detroit News reports.

178Brookings Institution says Cash For Clunkers was a bust

According to a Brookings evaluation of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), more commonly known as Cash for Clunkers, the $2.85-billion program cost taxpayers $1.4 million for each of the 3,676 jobs created by it from June to December 2009. The White House reportedly estimated that the program would create 70,000 jobs. Additionally, the evaluation states that more effective alternative fiscal stimulus policies could have been implemented instead of CARS.

31Krafcik says US Gov. shutdown is slowing Oct. auto sales

The government shutdown is eroding consumer confidence in the auto market, says John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai's US sales unit, and could lower October sales by as much as 10 percent, Automotive News reports. "It's that anxiety that keeps customers, potential buyers, on the sidelines when making a big purchase like an automobile," Krafcik says, adding that industry sales could be off by five to 10 percent in October compared to September.

14NHTSA stopping recall notices, safety testing amid government shutdown

The US government's shutdown may have an adverse effect on vehicle recalls and safety testing, according to a report from AOL Autos. Complaints can still be submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but nothing will actually be done about any of these submissions or any ongoing investigations until the agency's funding returns, NHTSA said in a statement.

43Hyundai deferring car payments for furloughed federal workers

Since the US government shut down early this morning, more than 800,000 federal employees could be furloughed without pay until a deal is reached to start the government back up. To help affected employees cope with the temporary layoffs, Hyundai is expanding its Assurance program to defer all of their auto loan or lease payments until they're called back to work.

79Saudi cleric under fire after saying women risk hurting ovaries if they drive

In Saudi Arabia, where only men can earn a driver's license, a conservative cleric is drawing criticism for saying that women risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems if they drive, The Guardian reports.

67Ford taken to task by gov't for Chicken Tax end-around [UPDATE]

Ford is in a bit of a pickle for importing and selling Turkey-built Transit Connect cargo vans as passenger vehicles in the US, then converting them to commercial-vehicle specification stateside in an effort to bypass a 25-percent tax imposed on vehicles imported for commercial use. Automakers are required to pay a 2.5-percent tax on imported passenger vehicles.

AddUK getting ready to end EV subsidies

When it comes to electric-vehicle subsidies in the UK, the government is selling but the public isn't buying. British ministers are saying that a two-year-old program that funds 5,000 British pounds ($7,850) worth of subsidies to buyers of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf will be shrunken and eventually phased out after demand turned out to be quite a bit less than expected, UK's Daily Mail reports.

41CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver's licenses [w/poll]

California could have become the fifth state to issue enhanced driver's licenses (EDL) and identification cards embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, but last Friday, state lawmakers suspended the legislation over privacy concerns. The RFID-equipped cards were to be optional, but ultimately it was a lack of measures to prevent law enforcement from tapping into the chips that killed the bill, WIRED reports.

68Trademark trolls cause headache for Tesla in China

It happened to Apple when it first tried to enter the Chinese market, and now it's happening to electric vehicle maker Tesla: the automaker's name has already been registered in China by trademark trolls, reports Want China Times. Trademark trolls are people or organizations that register company names in anticipation of selling them when said company decides to enter the market. After two years of litigation, Apple ended up paying Chinese computer monitor maker Proview $60 million to buy the "I

15Canada getting ready to sell GM stake

Canada's federal government and the government of the province of Ontario have started searching for an investment bank to sell the rest of their combined 140 million shares in General Motors, according to an unidentified source, Bloomberg reports. That represents a 10-percent stake up for sale. The news doesn't come as a surprise because Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in December that Canada wanted to sell its shares of GM stock, a point that was reiterated yesterday by one of his spokespeo

71Penalties possible for drivers wearing Google Glass in US and UK [w/poll]

The key feature of Google Glass is that it basically puts an Android smartphone on users' heads, allowing them hands-free operation of many smartphone features, including web browsing, phone calls, texting and navigation. A small heads-up display rests directly above the right eye, making it seem like a match made in heaven for drivers, who could use Glass without taking their hands off the wheel. But lawmakers already are planning to ban the device from being used while driving before it has ev

22Biofuel company Sapphire Energy pays of $54.5m government loan early

In the "lightning strikes twice" department, another California company in the green transportation field has said it paid off its federal government loans ahead of schedule. In this case, San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, which specializes in converting plant algae to crude oil, says it has paid off its $54.5-million loan, originally granted by the US Department of Agriculture, ahead of schedule.

23Ford blamed in drug mule lawsuit

If a college student is caught smuggling drugs across the border, one might think the kid got what was coming to him. But when a Mexican student at the University of Texas in El Paso was caught by Border Patrol agents with duffel bags filled with marijuana in his trunk, the man used a classic excuse: He claimed they weren't his.

3Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi will collaborate on charging network in Japan

A rising tide and electric vehicles may make for a mixed metaphor, but four of Japan's largest automakers say they're going to work together to build out enough of a charging infrastructure to boost demand for plug-in vehicles in their home country. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi will work with the Japanese government to more than triple both the country's publicly accessible chargers – both Level 2 and DC fast chargers – to about 11,000 units and 5,700 units, respectively.

62House committee looks to cut auto tech loans to fight fires

We've heard all about the wildfires that have been raging in the western US, and the lengths that normal citizens are going to to fight them. Now, Congress is finally stepping in to deliver some aid of its own. The funds, though, could come at the expense of the auto industry.

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