Regulators Move To Ease Restrictions For Self-Driving Cars

Regulators Move To Ease Restrictions For Self-Driving Cars

With everyone from Google to Ford trying to get into the self-driving vehicle business, federal regulators say it may be time to ease up on some restrictions that the industry claims are slowing innovation in the relatively new field. [More]

Airbnb Will Gently Nag Hosts In San Francisco Instead Of Requiring City Registration

Airbnb Will Gently Nag Hosts In San Francisco Instead Of Requiring City Registration

Airbnb’s hometown of San Francisco voted down a proposition that would have limited the number of days per year that a host on the service can rent out a room or property, with the goal of keeping scarce housing stock as housing, not places for tourists. Yet the company is preparing for similar future battles in San Francisco and in other cities, and will start by nagging hosts in San Francisco. [More]

As e-cigarette makers increase their ad spending, more teens have started using the devices.

Report Finds That As E-Cigarette Ad Spending Increases So Does Teens’ Use Of The Devices

About 2.4 million teens smoked e-cigarettes last year, and that number is poised to rise, thanks in part to the tens of millions of dollars device manufactures have poured into advertisements for the products, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  [More]

The 2016 3.0 liter diesel-powered Audi A6 is included in VW latest stop-sale order.

Dealers Stop Sale Of New, Pre-Owned VW, Audi & Porsche Vehicles Covered In Latest Emissions Violations

Just a day after Volkswagen executives said the car company would not stop the sale of vehicles included in the Environmental Protection Agency’s newest notice of violation for emission standards, the manufacturer backtracked, and now says it will tell dealers not to sell certain VW, Audi and Porsche models.  [More]

VW Denies Latest Emissions Violations, Won’t Halt Sales On Affected Vehicles

VW Denies Latest Emissions Violations, Won’t Halt Sales On Affected Vehicles

Just hours after federal and state regulators accused Volkswagen of using so-called “defeat devices” on newer model cars in order to ensure they passed emissions tests, the carmaker said the allegations aren’t true and that it will continue to allow sales of the recently identified automobiles.  [More]

Regulators Find More “Defeat Devices” In 10,000 VW, Porsche And Audi Vehicles

Regulators Find More “Defeat Devices” In 10,000 VW, Porsche And Audi Vehicles

A month and a half after the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board found “defeat devices” designed to cheat emission tests in nearly 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, the agencies’ ongoing investigation found additional Clean Air Act violations in the carmaker’s newer model Porsche, Audi and VW cars.  [More]

Feds Recommend Overhaul Of Student Loan Servicing

Feds Recommend Overhaul Of Student Loan Servicing

Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a public probe into potentially anti-consumer practices of the student loan servicing industry. More than 30,000 people responded, leading the Bureau, along with the Departments of Education and Treasury, to release a framework they hope will curb these questionable practices, promote borrower success, and minimize defaults. [More]

VW Announces 11M Cars Affected Worldwide By Software That Evades Emissions Standards

VW Announces 11M Cars Affected Worldwide By Software That Evades Emissions Standards

While the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Volkswagen to recall nearly 500,000 sedans equipped with software that tricked emissions tests, the carmaker announced on Tuesday that more than 11 million vehicles actually include the so-called defeat device. [More]

The Volkswagen Beetle is just one of several cars the company has been ordered to recall today.

Volkswagen Ordered To Recall 500K Vehicles Over Emission Violations

UPDATE: Our colleagues at Consumer Reports have decided to suspend the “Recommended” ratings it had previously given to the Passat diesel and Jetta diesel. [More]

Why Don’t Huge Privacy Flaws Result In Recalled Smartphones?

吉姆 Jim Hofman

When a car has a major flaw, like a potentially lethal airbag, it gets recalled. Same for a coffeemaker, or a surfboard, or a prescription drug. But when that major flaw is in a product’s software — like a huge exploit that puts literally a billion consumers’ privacy and personal data at risk — there’s no universal process out there for remedying the situation. Do we need one? And if so, how can we get one? [More]

For-Profit College Industry Continues To Bemoan Recently Enacted Gainful Employment Regulations

For-Profit College Industry Continues To Bemoan Recently Enacted Gainful Employment Regulations

A month after the implementation of long-awaited regulations aimed at reining in for-profit colleges went into effect, opponents of the new rules aren’t simply backing away nicely. Instead, they continue push repeal of the new law, saying it unfairly targets the proprietary schools. [More]

The FCC Wants To Know How Mobile Data, Broadband Caps, And High Prices Shape Broadband Access

The FCC Wants To Know How Mobile Data, Broadband Caps, And High Prices Shape Broadband Access

It’s the FCC’s job to determine if broadband internet service is reaching enough people, quickly enough and competitively enough. To make that determination, every year they issue a report looking at the current state of broadband and how it’s changed. But broadband isn’t about wires anymore; it’s about wireless data and how quickly that moves (or doesn’t), too. And so the commission is considering a big change to their standards for the next go-around — one that would take a hard look at your cell service, too. [More]

Add-ons allowed in states like Louisiana defeat the purpose of initial interest rate caps.

Most State Laws Can’t Protect Borrowers From Predatory Installment Loans, Open-End Lines Of Credit

As regulators continue to craft rules meant to crackdown on costly and harmful short-term payday lending, companies are offering alternative products like installment loans and open lines of credit to consumers. But, as it turns out, these cash infusions can be just as devastating to those in need, and few states offer sufficient protections for borrowers. [More]

CFPB Reminds Retailers They Can’t Accept Military Allotments For Certain Purchases

CFPB Reminds Retailers They Can’t Accept Military Allotments For Certain Purchases

Allotments allow military servicemembers to automatically direct some of their paycheck to parties of their choosing, ideally for savings, insurance premiums, housing payments, and support of dependents. Until recently, allotments could also be used to make retail purchases, but such transactions weren’t covered by many of the legal protections that come with traditional payment methods like electronic checks and debit cards. Recently enacted rules now prohibit the use of allotments for buying personal property, and federal regulators are reminding retailers they have to follow the law. [More]

(Chris Camargo)

San Francisco Creates New Office To Regulate Airbnb, Other Short-Term Rentals

The city of San Francisco and Airbnb have a somewhat contentious relationship, most recently involving tens of millions of dollars in back-taxes the short-term rental company agreed to pay the city earlier this year. Now, to ensure things continue to go smoothly for renters and rentees of services like Airbnb, the city has created a new office for the sole purpose of enforcing rules regarding vacation and short-term rentals. [More]

All Major U.S. Airlines Offer Free Cancellations Within 24 Hours, Except One

(Paul Thompson)

Even the most prepared traveler occasionally has to change their itinerary for unforeseen circumstances. While dealing with airlines to make a simple change can be both a test of your patience and a drain on your bank account, if you catch the issue soon enough you might save hundreds of dollars in change fees. That’s thanks, in part, to Department of Transportation rules that allow a ticket to be held at the same price for 24 hours before purchase or canceled within 24 hours after purchase — most of the time. [More]

CFPB Proposes Delay Of New Mortgage Rules By Two Months

CFPB Proposes Delay Of New Mortgage Rules By Two Months

Prospective homebuyers anticipating a more streamlined disclosure process while buying their dream home may have to wait a little longer, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a delay to new rules. [More]

New York Regulator Finalizes First-Of-Its-Kind Plan To Govern Virtual Currency With “BitLicense”

New York Regulator Finalizes First-Of-Its-Kind Plan To Govern Virtual Currency With “BitLicense”

Nearly a year after the New York Department of Financial Services took steps to regulate businesses that operate in virtual currency, the Department announced the finalization of the “BitLicense” plan, making it the first set of guidelines for the use of cybercurrency. [More]