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News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

N.Y. holdback ruling favors Maserati store

An administrative law judge in New York has sided with a Maserati dealership in a lawsuit over whether changes to incentive programs constitute modifications to a franchise agreement. Wide World Maserati in Spring Valley, N.Y., argued in a New York court last month that when Maserati North America reduced holdback payments to the dealership on sold vehicles, the change qualified as a franchise modification, regulated by New York's dealership law, as revised in 2009.

The Boogie Bus is Back, and It’s Not a Lemon

This piece of news just made an electric slide into auto headlines. VW’s famous microbus will be back in their lineup in 2022 and can be fueled up for a nostalgic trip to Woodstock via an electric charging station. The I.D. Buzz, as the concept vehicle is named, will be available in the North American, European, and Chinese markets. Read the full article here.

Arent Fox Secures Precedent Setting Victory on Behalf of Maserati Dealers

New York, NY - Earlier this week, Arent Fox LLP secured an important decision on margin and bonus programs for Maserati dealers in New York. The Arent Fox team argued before Administrative Law Judge Walter Zulkoski of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, who ultimately granted in all aspects the firm’s motion for partial summary judgment.   

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Signs Bill into Law Preserving the Rights of Auto Dealerships

On Thursday, May 4, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland signed into law a bill which will help preserve the rights of auto dealerships throughout the state when dealing with auto manufacturers. The new law provides that key performance metrics for new motor vehicle dealers must consider local demographic and geographic limitations, among other fairness requirements. This new law redefines the often-contested issue of primary market area analysis and changes the standards for measuring and comparing dealer performance.

Pay Plan Modification Alert: All Commission-Based Compensation Plans Must Separately Account and Pay for Rest Periods

On February 28, 2017, in Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC, a California Court of Appeal found that employers are required to separately calculate and pay compensation for rest periods for employees receiving commission based pay. The plaintiffs in Vaquero were commission-based salespeople at a furniture store. Each pay period, they received sales commissions plus, if necessary, a draw against future commissions bringing pay to at least $12.01 for each hour worked in the pay period.

Arent Fox Negotiates Exceptional Carve-Out Settlement on Behalf of Volkswagen Dealer

New York, NY – Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce that the firm negotiated an exceptional carve-out on behalf of Volkswagen dealer Palisades Volkswagen in a nationwide VW dealer diesel scandal class action settlement – the largest ever of its kind. On January 23 the court approved a modified settlement carving out Palisades’ claims from the class action settlement regarding the diesel scandal. This is a win not just for Palisades, but for all VW dealers holding non-diesel related claims against VW.  

FTC Drives Autonomous Car Reg Focus Toward Privacy and Security

The constant slew of innovations and advancements in smart cars has so far left regulators struggling to define new rules to govern this space. The overlapping jurisdictions of three different agencies - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – with different priorities have only added to the complexity.  

Four Wheel Data Drive: The Data Protection and Notification Requirements Automotive Dealers Need To Know

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Data Breach Notification Statutes in NY, CA, and FL As Applied to Retail Automotive Dealerships While autonomous car technology currently dominates privacy and security headlines in the automotive sector, cybersecurity should be top of mind for all players in our industry, including retail automotive dealerships. In fact, the FTC requires car dealers to match data protection standards required by financial institutions. 

US Supreme Court Orders 9th Circuit to Reconsider Service Advisor Overtime Exemption

On Monday, the US Supreme Court ordered the Ninth Circuit to reconsider whether Service Advisors are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). SCOTUS issued its Order with direction to avoid taking the US Department of Labor’s most recent regulations into account, finding the regulations were issued without adequate explanation.  

Who’s Driving? (Not You.) Autonomous Vehicles Lead to Interesting Privacy and Data Security Questions

If you attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you probably noticed many concepts applied to the one item that many Americans use every day: the automobile. Over the past few years technology developers and manufacturers have set their sights on the automotive industry, which is one of the largest industries in the United States. From automated cars, syncing software, to wearable devices that interact with a vehicle, it is clear that our time in the car is under an era of rapid change.