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safety investigation to begin regarding tesla

US Safety Agency Opens Probe Into Tesla Fires

DETROIT November 19, 2013 (AP)

The U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog is investigating whether Tesla’s Model S electric car is vulnerable to fires because roadway debris can pierce the car’s underbody and battery.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which announced the probe early Tuesday, is looking into two incidents in which Model S drivers struck metal objects on highways. The objects penetrated the bottom of the car, punctured the battery and caused fires.

Both drivers were warned of a problem by the car and escaped safely.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a blog post that he requested the NHTSA investigation. He says accident data show that the Model S is far safer than gasoline-powered cars, but the probe is needed to dispel questions the public may have about the safety of electric vehicles as a result of the fires.

But NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told reporters in Washington Tuesday that he isn’t aware of any request from Tesla. However, the agency said Tesla is cooperating in the investigation.

News of the probe didn’t hurt Tesla’s stock price. It gained $4.51, or 3.7 percent, to close at $126.09, and at one point rose to $129.

The probe affects more than 13,000 cars from the 2013 model year that were sold in the U.S. Tesla has sold about 19,000 of the cars worldwide. They start at $70,000 but often run more than $100,000.

Tesla’s batteries are mounted beneath the passenger compartment and protected by a quarter-inch-thick metal shield. Experts say that if the batteries are damaged, that can cause arcing and sparks and touch off a fire.

NHTSA, in documents posted on its website, said it opened the preliminary evaluation “to examine the potential risks associated with undercarriage strikes” on the Tesla cars. The investigation could lead to a recall, but a decision likely is months away.

Musk, who has stated previously that the Model S won’t be recalled, said Tuesday that if NHTSA discovers something “that would result in a material improvement in occupant fire safety,” Tesla will make the change on new cars, as well as existing vehicles free of charge. He said such a discovery is “unlikely.”

The low-slung Model S has a 6-inch clearance between the ground and the undercarriage. Other cars with gas engines sit lower, such as the Mercedes CLA Class at 3.9 inches and a Dodge Charger at 5 inches, according to the auto website. But the Tesla automatically lowers itself about another inch at highway speeds, the company’s website said.

In his blog post, Musk wrote that Tesla has done an over-the-air software update to give the car more ground clearance at highway speeds. The change, Musk wrote, was made to cut the chances of underbody damage, not to improve safety.

“The theoretical probability of a fire injury is already vanishingly small, and the actual number to date is zero,” he wrote.

Another software update in January will give the driver more control of the air suspension ride height, Musk wrote. The company also added fire damage to its warranty coverage “even if it’s due to driver error.”

car dealers offering credit must be certified ( red flag rules )


Long delayed, enforcement of the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transaction Act (FACTA) Red Flags Rule finally began in January
2011. With this regulation in effect, it’s no longer enough to ensure
the proper disposal of sensitive information.


Now, businesses of all kinds are required to create

and put in place a written Identity Theft Prevention Program ( ITPP )

– and can suffer civil penalties and
injunctions if found to be in noncompliance.


What’s in it.
The Red Flags Rule spells out what compliance is – essentially,
what needs to go into the written plan. With a reasonable plan
in place, companies should be able to:
• Identify the so-called “red flags” – patterns and activities
that may indicate the presence of identity theft
• Build methods for detecting red flags into standard
business practices
• Document all responses taken in reaction to signs of
potential identity theft
• Update the plan over time to stay current with evolving
risk factors


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Fortunately, the Red Flags Rule “includes guidelines to help
financial institutions and creditors develop and implement a
Program, including a supplement that offers examples of red


Who should pay attention.
As with FACTA itself, the Red Flags Rule has implications for
organizations of all sizes and kinds.
Broadly, it covers two categories of businesses: “financial
institutions” and “creditors.” The definition of “financial institution”
is relatively straightforward:
• All banks, savings associations, and credit unions, regardless
of whether they hold a transaction account belonging to a
consumer; and
• Anyone else who directly or indirectly holds a transaction
account belonging to a consumer.


As for “creditors,” that term covers a lot of ground. Inclusion is
based on three general criteria. Creditors:
• Obtain or use consumer reports in connection with a
credit transaction;
• Furnish information to consumer reporting agencies in
connection with a credit transaction; or
• Advance funds to – or on behalf of – someone, except
for funds for expenses incidental to a service provided by
the creditor to that person.


Last-minute changes to the rule somewhat limited the scope of

what constitutes a “creditor,” but to date there are no hard-and

fast guidelines for which businesses fall under the rule and which


According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Examples of
groups that may fall within this definition are utilities, health care
providers, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, and
telecommunications companies.” But the rule could theoretically
cover any company (or person) that provides a product or service
at a given time and accepts payment for it at a later date.


If that’s not confusing enough, the rule only comes into play if
an organization holds consumer accounts “designed to permit
multiple payments or transactions – or any other account for
which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft.”


How to comply.
Because of the Red Flags Rule’s complexity and recent implementation,

it’s best to consult an attorney to see if your organization

falls under its jurisdiction.

You can also search the FTC website
for information on the rule and guidelines on creating an Identity
Theft Prevention Program.


Red Flag Rules Car Dealer Attorney






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GOT PLATES ??? get retro license plates

Retro license plate proposal on the move

California lawmakers can’t roll back gas prices or revive eight-track tape players, but they soon may offer motorists something else from decades past: replica license plates.

Assembly Bill 1658 would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue plates resembling those of the 1950s, through ’80s for a fee – $50 initially, $40 per year – to cover administrative costs and raise money for environmental projects.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Los Angeles Democrat who proposed the bill, said it capitalizes on nostalgia and recent production of retro-style vehicles. “What’s old is new,” he says, “and it might make the state a little money, too.”

Plates would not be issued by the DMV until 7,500 had been ordered by the public. They would come in three classic designs, with black lettering on a yellow background, or yellow lettering on either a black or blue background.

The new plates would not be exact reproductions, however. Current plates have seven digits, for example, while those of decades past had six. Reflectivity and font-type standards also have changed through the decades.

AB 1658 received bipartisan support in the Assembly Transportation Committee, 14-0, and is awaiting action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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not everyone in california loves tesla


A California trade association complains, saying Tesla’s ads understate the price of the new Model S.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Automotive has weathered big debt, bad press and consumer resistance to electric cars. Now the company finds itself on the wrong side of its home state’s car dealers.

On Monday, the California New Car Dealers Association submitted a nine-page complaint to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, claiming Tesla’s advertising related to pricing is deceptive.

Tesla, of Palo Alto, is the darling of the green energy world, demonstrating to consumers that cars can be environmental and beautiful, though Tesla’s vehicles are still prohibitively costly for the average car buyer. Tesla also has garnered glowing reviews from industry publications, including Consumer Reports, which gave its new Model S nearly a perfect score during its test drive this year. Nevertheless, Tesla has faced a state-by-state battle with car dealers since it rolled out its new sedan.

“Dealers are feeling threatened by Tesla’s business model and being perhaps fearful that other electric vehicle manufacturers will say, ‘Tesla did this, we can too,’ and bypass the franchise dealer system and sell directly to the customer,” says Mike Omotoso, an automobile industry analyst with LMC Automotive, in Troy, Michigan.

Tesla falsely claims on its website that consumers can purchase a new Tesla S, which retails for around $70,000, for as little as $114 a month, after gas savings, government incentives, and various financing options, CNCDA says in its letter. (State and federal government incentives can range between $7,500 and $15,000 for fuel-efficient cars). While the organization did not estimate a correct monthly payment, it asserted that $114 a month was highly unlikely, since it comes to $25 less per month than the least expensive new car available to consumers today, the Nissan Versa.

CNCDA complained that Tesla’s advertisement did not include any of the required data about how the  monthly payments were arrived at, including down payments, finance charges, and number of payments involved, as well as qualifiers about advertised rates and gas savings.

“This is about Tesla making claims that if one of our dealers made, everyone would be up in arms and calling for an investigation,” Brian Maas, president of the New Car Dealers Association of California, of Sacramento, says. “We feel it is appropriate that Tesla, which is dealer too, has to comply with adverting laws like our members.”

Tesla was unable to respond to questions from Inc. before deadline.

CNCDA represents 1,100 new car and truck dealers in California. Generally, each state sets franchise laws for automobile sales, Omotoso says. California lets manufacturers sell their own cars directly. California’s DMV enforces dealer and manufacturer advertising regulations, Maas says.

Tesla operates somewhat like Apple does, through an independent retail network of 31 dedicated dealerships in the U.S. Other car brands, by contrast, sell through dealer franchises that sell multiple car brands simultaneously.

Other state car dealer associations have tried to prevent Tesla from selling its cars in recent months, with varying degrees of success. Texas forbids Tesla dealers to sell its cars in the state. North Carolina’s new car dealers association also tried to hamstring Tesla there, but the group had its challenge defeated by state representatives in June.

Though Tesla’s overall car sales are still small–it sold 10,650 cars through June, 2013 and is on track to sell about 20,000 through the end of the year, according to Omotoso–its strategy of selling through a direct dealership has definitely boosted sales. If it participated in the typical franchise system, it would be lumped together with traditional car brands that are cheaper and whose features the typical dealer understands better.

Tesla went public in 2010, and it has struggled for years with profitability, only eking into positive territory in May, simultaneously paying off a controversial Department of Energy loan of nearly half a billion dollars. Tesla has seen its stock price soar to about $183 from $23 three years ago.

what part of being a licensed car dealer is tesla forgetting ???

By Damon LowneyRSS feedGoogle+

Months after the confusing announcement of Tesla’s lease-like financing program, the electric vehicle maker could face an advertisement probe that has been requested by the California New Car Dealers Association,Automotive News reports, which claims that consumers are being mislead by advertised monthly payments that are lower than what most people would experience.

The ordeal can be traced back to April 2, when Tesla made an announcement specifying tiered monthly payments for the three versions of the Model S assuming a 66-month term. But then Tesla revised the numbers upward overnight because, it claimed, it meant to say it offered a 63-month finance term, not a 66-month term. The automaker also claimed that factoring in the “true cost of ownership” of a Model S compared to a conventional fuel-burning car could drive monthly costs to below $500.

In May, it added an available finance term of 72 months, which, factoring in only gasoline savings, the company said could lower monthly payments to $580. But the underlying issue at hand is that the means which can potentially lower monthly payments from $1,000+ dollars (depending on the model) to under $600 can’t be realized by the majority of Americans, the CNCDA says.

Tesla provides an online calculator that does the payment math for you. It takes into account the $7,500 federal incentive and $2,500 California incentive (state incentives differ) for EVs, what your time is worth, how much time and money are saved away from the gas station, shortened commuting time with carpool lane access (in participating states), and even business tax benefits. But the “packed external incentives,” as the dealer association calls them, don’t apply to everybody. Most people can’t realize monthly payments below $500 unless they have the right mix of true-cost-of-ownership deductions. CNCDA also claims that only 20-percent of Americans can claim the full $7,500 federal incentive, which is based on findings by the Congressional Budget Office, according to Automotive News.

Brian Maas, president of the dealer association, sees Tesla’s advertisement strategy in this way: “It’s misleading. If you checked every box on their true cost of ownership series of inquiries, they claim you can get a Model S for $114 a month, which is lower than the cheapest [new] car available in the United States, the Nissan Versa - which would cost you, with a lease deal, about $139 a month,” Automotive News reports.



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car dealers…..get the carfax alternative

Sign up for a VinAudit Dealer Account

Please register here to receive a Dealer Account for bulk access to NMVTIS reports. For instant activation, please fill all required fields.

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look to the aviation industry for a failsafe tesla solution


Eclipse Aerospace, another innovative company, holds a patent on Phostrex, an environmentally friendly fire extinguishing agent. The phostrex is contained in a tiny canister and is used to put out a fire in the jet engine. It’s extraordinarily powerful. A demo can be seen on youtube. I have no idea how well it works on a lithium fire as its mechanism is to displace oxygen, but I understand oxygen deprivation is generally the strategy in dealing with lithium fires.

In the Eclipse there are two guarded switches, one for each engine. The first push cuts off fuel to the engine and the second releases the Phostrex. In the Tesla the first push would trip the master breaker and the second would release the Phostrex. Perhaps an expensive solution, as each canister for a small jet engine costs about $7500, but that’s aviation pricing which is generally higher than automotive by a factor of ten.

tesla warranty

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Jody Forster would love to share her knowledge of the California Laws and FORMS. Jody has spent the better part of 20 years studying law changes and is committed to providing superior dealer supplies and services to customers in the environment of trust, with a commitment to the highest ethical standards. We’re dedicated to being a LEADER in the AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY INDUSTRY. We’ll continue evolving and expanding our business opportunities in the AUTO DEALER SUPPLY MARKEPLACE to ensure our customers superior service, product and competitive pricing.

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The dealer must provide this document disclosing the cost of specified items purchased and the effect of those items on installment payments. (Civil Code §2982.2)
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