More than 15 million Americans bought a new car last year. All of them also received a piece of paper which informed them that their vehicle complies with the Clean Air Act. This is surprising because compliance with the Clean Air Act is a requirement before a vehicle leaves the factory and long before a customer can even take it on a test drive.
Anyone who has ever bought or sold a car knows that in addition to bringing home a new car or truck, consumers also bring home a mountain of paperwork. Some of these documents are critical: important information about how to safely operate the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle at sale, their legal rights and the financial details of the transaction. But requiring auto dealers to distribute outdated notices, like the certification of compliance with the Clean Air Act, only serves as a distraction to the consumer and an unnecessary burden on the dealer.
Auto dealers should be hard at work selling cars and trucks and creating jobs in our local communities, not processing outdated paperwork. Congress mandated this certification in the 1970s and Congress has a responsibility to eliminate it when it no longer serves the original purpose of protecting consumers.
When Michigan auto dealers told me how this burden slowed their business and confused consumers, I got to work on a bill that eliminates this paperwork requirement. The idea was simple but common sense. Republicans and Democrats were onboard, and I am proud to say that my bill to cut red tape for auto dealers and consumers passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously. The bill is on its way to President Barack Obamaís desk to be signed into law.
Congress should be doing everything it can to grow small businesses and create jobs, but sometimes the best way to do that is to get out of the way. This bipartisan measure lets small businesses owners focus on growing their business and creating jobs, and gets rid of an outdated regulation that burdened them. The original intent of the notice may have made sense when enacted, but todayís cars and trucks are cleaner and safer. Advancement in fuel efficiency and emissions control technology, in addition to the durability and strength of vehicles, made this notice obsolete.
Itís no secret that finding common ground across the aisle and passing legislation is hard to do these days. Itís easy to point fingers, play politics and focus on where we disagree and how the other side is wrong. But thatís not what Michiganians want from their representatives. There is work to be done, and we should do everything we can to meet in the middle and make our economy stronger for our middle class.
By working across the aisle on an idea that made sense for business and consumers, and Michiganís auto industry specifically, we have made buying a car simpler for dealers and consumers. This important change comes at just the right time because the U.S. auto industry is roaring back. Sales topped 15 million last year, a six-year high.
Michiganís auto companies are producing world class vehicles and moving production back to the United States. Iím proud of Michiganís auto companies, manufacturers, dealers and workers and will continue fighting for all aspects of the auto industry.
Congressman Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Twp., represents Michiganís 14th District.