Top Thursday Voting Session

Ammunition Magazine Limit, Banning Smoking in Parks Beaches, Higher Education Cost Disclosure, School Breakfast Farm-to-School Program Improvements Top Thursday Voting Session
Jessica Lunsford Act Support for Higher Wages for Newark Airport Workers Also on Tap

Legislation to reduce the capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, prohibit smoking at public parks and beaches, require institutions of higher education to provide cost details to prospective students and improvements to the school breakfast and Farm-to-School programs top Thursday’s Assembly session.

The session is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and will be streamed live at:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.
Highlights include:
• A2006 (Greenwald/Quijano/Eustace/Johnson/Jasey) – Reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

• A1080 (Vainieri Huttle/Jimenez) – Prohibits smoking at public parks and beaches.
• A-668 (Cryan/Quijano/Coughlin/Lagana) – Requires institutions of higher education to provide to prospective students certain cost, loan, and debt information in financial aid shopping sheet.
• AR99 (Cryan/Prieto) – Urges Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to request and support increase in minimum wage for workers at Newark Airport.

• A679 (Cryan/Benson/Lagana) – Encourages school districts and nonpublic schools to increase student participation in school breakfast programs; and A1796 (O’Donnell/Cryan) Prohibits school district from denying student school breakfast or school lunch because payment is in arrears without prior notice to parent; and A2186 (Singleton/Lampitt/Riley) – Mandates “breakfast after the bell” program in schools with significant low income population; and A2840 (Lampitt/Mosquera/Schaer/Spencer/Pinto Marin) – Expands school breakfast program to all schools with 5% or more of students eligible for free or reduced price meals; and A2644 (Andrzejczak/Wilson) – Directs the Dept. of Agriculture to establish a clearinghouse website for farmers to offer produce and dairy products for use by school breakfast programs, school lunch programs, and food banks
• A156 (Andrzejczak/Riley) – Requires Department of Agriculture to post on its website certain information regarding State’s farm to school program; and A2642 (Andrzejczak/Riley) – Allows contributions to NJ “Farm to School” program; and A2643 (Riley/Wilson) – Establishes “Best in New Jersey ‘Farm to School’ Awards Program” to annually recognize the best farm to school programs implemented by a school or school district.

• A892 (Green) – Enacts the “Jessica Lunsford Act;” imposes mandatory term of imprisonment; provides for negotiated reduction of mandatory term under certain circumstances.

• A373 (Caputo/Diegnan/Spencer/Tucker/Quijano/Vainieri Huttle) – Requires school buildings to be equipped with emergency light and panic alarm linked to local law enforcement.

• A1348 (Stender/McKeon/Quijano) – Requires boil water notices to be provided by certain public water systems via telephone, email or text message.
• A801 (Coughlin/Wisniewski) – Directs NJTA to study and report on potential revenue generating services of NJTA rest areas and service plazas.

• A1812 (Wilson) – Extends protections of the new vehicle “lemon Law” to new motor vehicle farm equipment purchased or leased in New Jersey.

• A2444 (Caputo/Singleton/Vainieri Huttle/Burzichelli) – Allows person to request voluntary exclusion from gaming activities without acknowledging being problem gambler.

• A2682 (Lampitt) – Extends health benefits coverage of a newborn infant.

• A1098 (Vainieri Huttle/Eustace) – Requires follow-up studies of developmental center residents transitioning to the community.

• A2305 (DeAngelo) – Requires adoption of certain rules and regulations by DCA and DEP concerning blue roofs and green roofs; and A2307 (DeAngelo) – Requires NJ Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program to give additional weight in ranking system to projects including green or blue roofs.

Drunk driver who confessed on YouTube has had far-reaching effects [w/video]

I Killed A Man

“I killed a man.” We can’t think of a statement at the moment that is more direct and forceful than that. But perhaps, “Because I said I would” could be seen as a close second (not related to the first statement, of course), as you see by the example outlined here.

The story of Matthew Cordle made news late last year after he admitted in a video posted to YouTube that he had been out drinking on the night of June 22, 2013, in Columbus, OH, when he was driving the wrong way on Interstate 670, struck a car being driven by Vincent Canzani and killed him. Those are the details of the case, and Cordle did indeed plead guilty to the charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and was, not surprisingly, sentenced to six and a half years in jail.

That’s not nearly the whole story, though. In an thoughtful and intelligent piece from BuzzFeed, which is much more well-known for quick hits of internet click bait, contributor Joel Oliphint follows Cordle’s case from beginning to end. As it turns out, this story and its video have had far-reaching effects that go well beyond the small town in Ohio where Cordle is now serving his jail time.

It’s a long piece, but one that’s well worth reading. Check it out after watching (or rewatching) Cordle’s confession video below.

In wake of ignition scandal, GM appoints Jeff Boyer as safety czar [w/video]

GM Announces New Vehicle Safety Chief

Jeff Boyer named Vice President, Global Vehicle Safety

2014-03-18

DETROIT – General Motors CEO Mary Barra today named a new vehicle safety leader whose first priority will be to quickly identify and resolve product safety issues.

Jeff Boyer, has been named to the newly created position of Vice President, Global Vehicle Safety, effective immediately. Boyer, who has spent nearly 40 years in a wide range of engineering and safety positions at GM, will have global responsibility for the safety development of GM vehicle systems, confirmation and validation of safety performance, as well as post-sale safety activities, including recalls.

Boyer will provide regular and frequent updates on vehicle safety to Barra, senior management and the GM Board of Directors.

“Jeff’s appointment provides direct and ongoing access to GM leadership and the Board of Directors on critical customer safety issues,” said Barra. “This new role elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader so we can set a new standard for customer safety with more rigorous accountability. If there are any obstacles in his way, Jeff has the authority to clear them. If he needs any additional resources, he will get them.”

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers in the vehicles they drive,” said Boyer. “Today’s GM is committed to this, and I’m ready to take on this assignment.”

Boyer, 58, will report to John Calabrese, Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering and become a member of Global Product Development staff, led by Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

Boyer began his GM career in 1974, as a co-op student and has held several senior engineering, safety and process leadership positions, including the role of a total vehicle integration engineer. His most recent position since 2011 was Executive Director of Engineering Operations and Systems Development. Before that, Boyer served as Executive Director of Global Interior Engineering and Safety Performance where he was responsible for the performance and certification of GM vehicle safety and crashworthiness. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a Masters of Business Administration from Michigan State University.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com

Ford will refund price of red Escape to couple who rejected blue replacement …



Four years after they bought a red Ford Escape, a Fond du Lac couple who went to trial with the manufacturer over whether a new, but blue, Escape was a comparable replacement under Wisconsin’s lemon law will be getting a refund.

A Milwaukee County jury found in December that the 2010 Escape was a lemon, but also that the 2012 version Ford offered in its place was a comparable vehicle. David and Mary Porter had rejected the 2012 vehicle because they said the color was a centrally important reason they bought their Escape, and a blue version was not comparable.

On Monday, the judge who presided over the trial ordered that Ford will refund the couple $25,057, and they’ll return the 2010 Escape to Ford with more than 70,000 miles on it.

The Porters’ attorney, Vince Megna, said the refund represents the original purchase price, tax and finance charges, plus interest, and minus depreciation on the vehicle.

“They’re very happy,” Megna said. “They’ll be able to go buy another car.”

He said the Porters will probably get another small SUV, but won’t be buying a Ford. Whatever they get “will definitely be red though,” he said.

Either side, or both, may yet appeal the result of December’s trial.

Megna feels strongly that the issue of color should be factored into deciding whether a vehicle offered as a replacement is acceptably comparable under the lemon law. By losing on that point, the Porters could not get double damages or their attorney fees from Ford.

Ford, after intially offering the blue Escape as a comparable vehicle, later challenged whether the red one was indeed a lemon at all. On the other hand, Ford is out only the refund money, and can resell the Porters’ Escape to recoup some of that cost, a relatively small cost to the whole affair for a company as large as Ford.

Shortly after the Porters got the red Escape, it was subject to a recall about a transmission problem. The Porters wound up taking it in several times and having the transmission rebuilt twice, and they claimed it still had issues. In the fall of 2011, they requested a replacement under the lemon law.  When Ford offered a blue version at the deadline, the couple rejected it and later sued.

At trial, Ford’s attorney suggested the couple really just wanted to sue under the lemon law, in hopes of winning the double damages and their attorney fees.

A judge had rejected Ford’s motion to dismiss the claim before trial, saying the issue of whether a comparable vehicle must be the same color should be left to a jury.

VW recalling 150K Passats over headlight concerns

VOLKSWAGEN ISSUES VOLUNTARY SAFETY RECALL
Mar 14, 2014

Herndon, VA (March 14, 2014) – Volkswagen considers the safety and satisfaction of its consumers and passengers to be a top priority. As such, Volkswagen of America today notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it will be issuing a voluntary recall.

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen has notified NHTSA of an upcoming voluntary safety recall affecting approximately 150,201 Volkswagen Passat vehicles from the 2012-2013 model years. It is possible that, in instances where the hood is closed roughly (or dropped from a certain height), the resulting vibration and/or impact can cause a low-beam headlight bulb to lose electrical contact. If this happens, a warning in the instrument cluster will immediately alert the driver. Failing illumination of the low beam bulb may lead to reduced visibility of the vehicle.

There have been no crashes or injuries reported regarding this issue.

Volkswagen plans to notify all owners of affected vehicles and will instruct them to arrange for an appointment with an authorized Volkswagen dealer. At no cost to customers, dealers will install an improved bulb fitting. Additionally, the hood bumpers will be inspected and, if necessary, adjusted or replaced to help prevent the hood from contacting the headlight assembly if the hood is dropped during closing.

Zolonz & Associates Now Specialize In Lemon Law

Lemon laws are a set of consumers rights when purchasing a wide range of consumer goods, but they mainly apply to the purchase or a lease of an automobile. The manufacturer is responsible for the repair of mechanical problems as stated in the warranty in a reasonable amount of time. If, however, the motor vehicle is not fixed, than the consumer is entitled for an equivalent replacement or a refund.

Although both state and federal laws have been protecting consumers under the lemon laws since 1975, it is often difficult for individuals to know the full legal details to receive full restitution for their mechanical issues. Therefore, Zolonz Associates can help consumers file a lemon law claim if they feel their vehicle manufacturer failed to repair their vehicle in due time to their satisfaction.

Zolonz Associates is a full-service Los Angeles law firm providing a wide range of legal services, and representing a broad client base, from major corporations to individuals. The firm specializes in Plaintiff’s consumer litigation under the California lemon law.

The firm’s founder, Adam Zolonz, created a business model as an alternative to the traditional law firm. Zolonz Associates offers the same quality representation that clients expect from the nation’s largest firms, without the billing rates associated with those firms. The firm provides top firm expertise alongside personalized treatment that the big firms simply cannot provide.

For more information about Zolonz Associates, and the services they provide, call 310.247.8230, or visit their website at http://zolonzassociates.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/zolonzandassociates/lemonlaw/prweb11665939.htm

Porsche close to fix for 911 GT3 engine fires [UPDATE]

2014 Porsche 911 GT3

It looks like 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 drivers might actually get to drive their cars again soon. Reports of fires affecting the track-ready Germans first began about a month ago. Then, a few days later, the automaker confirmed two of the five alleged blazes and said owners shouldn’t drive their cars until further notice. Porsche then went so far as to offer to pick up the GT3s and transport them to the nearest dealer until the problem was identified and a fix was found. Finally, there appears to be a repair.

“We know the reason and the problem-solving measures. We’re testing them,” said Porsche CEO Matthias Müller to Bloomberg. The technical fix will be released to owners shortly.

The recall affects all 785 GT3s that have been sold so far, but there have been no reported injuries caused by the fires. When it first announced the safety campaign, Porsche said: “Internal studies to determine the cause of the engine damage have not been completed yet.”

With winter rapidly turning in spring, hopefully Porsche can fix these road-legal racecars in time for drivers to enjoy the nicer weather.

UPDATE: According to AutoGuide, speaking to Porsche spokesperson Nick Twork, the company will put new engines in all of the affected 785 cars. “We will be replacing the engines in each of the 911 GT3s that have been built thus far,” Twork told the publication. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available, and head over to AutoGuide for the full followup.

Related Gallery2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive

2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Drive

GM announces 3 new recalls affecting 1.7M vehicles in North America [w/video]

GM Redoubles Safety Efforts, Announces New Recalls

– 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana to get reworked instrument panel material to meet compliance for unbelted passengers

– 2013 and some 2014 Cadillac XTS models to be repaired to prevent possible brake booster corrosion that may result in overheating

– Some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverse, and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlook to repair the wiring harness of seat mounted side air bags

DETROIT – As a result of Mary Barra’s request for a comprehensive internal safety review following the ignition switch recall, General Motors today announced three separate recalls involving U.S. production and sales of approximately:

303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from the 2009-2014 model years with gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds
63,900 Cadillac XTS full-size sedan from the 2013 and 2014 model years
1.18 million Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia models from the 2008-2013 model years, Chevrolet Traverse from the 2009-2013 model years, and Saturn Outlook from the 2008-2010 model years
“I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” said Mary Barra, GM CEO. “That is what today’s GM is all about.”

The full-size vans with gross vehicle weights of 10,000 pounds or less do not comply with a head impact requirement for unrestrained occupants, requiring a rework of the passenger instrument panel material.

Unsold vehicles have been placed on a stop delivery until development of the solution has been completed and parts are available. Customers will be notified at that time. Repairs will be made at no charge to customers.

In the XTS, a brake booster pump can create positive pressure within the wiring harness attached to the pump relay. This pressure can lead to the dislodging of a plug in the brake booster pump relay, allowing corrosive elements to enter the connector and form a low-resistance short that could lead to overheating, melting of plastic components and a possible engine compartment fire.

GM is aware of two engine compartment fires in unsold vehicles at dealerships and two cases of melted components.

With respect to the Enclave, Traverse, Acadia and Outlook, the vehicles are equipped with a Service Air Bag warning light in the driver information center. Ignoring the Service Air Bag warning light will eventually result in the non-deployment of the side impact restraints, which include driver and passenger seat-mounted side air bags, front center air bag (if equipped), and the seat belt pretensioners.

To repair the condition, dealers will remove the driver and passenger side air bag wiring harness connectors and splice and solder the wires together.

“Today’s announcement underscores the focus we’re putting on the safety and peace of mind of our customers. We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes and will have more developments to announce as we move forward,” Barra said.

GM expects to take a charge of approximately $300 million in the first quarter primarily for the cost of the repairs for the three safety actions and the previously announced ignition switch recall.

BMW planning Chinese recall for engine part issue [w/video]

BMW VANOS

After receiving an unspecified number of complaints in China, BMW has reportedly started a “full investigation” into what may be a defective part in its VANOS engine control system. BMW said via a Chinese blog that it would file a recall application with the the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in China.

BMW has not yet announced how many vehicles will be recalled, or which models the potential recall might cover. We’re also curious as to whether the VANOS issue could extend into markets outside of China.

We’ve placed a call with BMW in the United States, and will update this post as soon as we hear back. Stay tuned for more, and if you’re curious about what VANOS is and how it works, scroll down below for a video animation.