Obama tosses auto booklets into the crusher

President Obama has signed legislation doing away with a 1972 law that required auto dealers across the country to have booklets on hand about the crashworthiness of their vehicles.


For decades, the federal government has printed and distributed booklets containing crashworthiness information to tens of thousands of dealerships around the country.
 
The law that required the books threatened dealers with $1,000 fines if they didn’t make them available when customers requested them.

Problem was, hardly anyone ever did.
 
“For all of the years I’ve been in business, I cannot recall that a customer has ever asked to see the booklet,” said Bill Underriner, a multi-franchise dealer from Montana. “Printing and mailing this booklet has simply been made obsolete by technology.”
 

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Underriner, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), praised President Obama for signing a bill repealing the 1972 law and stopping the production of the booklets.
 
Penned by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), the bill passed the House and Senate without opposition. Obama signed it on Thursday.
 
The action follows an NADA survey that found 96 percent of the group’s members had never been asked for the brochure in the 21 years they were required to stock it. The information contained in the booklets, detailing the differing costs of insurance to repair vehicles of varying makes and models, is readily available online and can be quoted by any trained insurance agent.
 
Lawmakers touted the law’s repeal as an example of measures that can be taken to slash wasteful and onerous regulations that are costly to taxpayers and burdensome to the private sector.  
 
“This new law is another important step in peeling back outdated and unnecessary rules that businesses must deal with on a daily basis,” Harper said in a statement issued by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “This was a bipartisan effort to help eliminate regulatory red tape and I hope to see similar successes in the months ahead as President Obama has stated that it is a priority of his administration to identify and eliminate costly, outdated and unneeded regulations.”