SEMA has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the association is prepared to challenge the agency in court if NHTSA fails to take immediate action to implement a low-volume replica car law. Under the 2015 law, small automakers — 5,000 or fewer vehicles produced globally — may sell as many as 325 turn-key replica cars a year in the United States.
According to SEMA, NHTSA had until Dec. 4, 2016 to establish a process for companies to register with the agency and to issue any necessary regulation to implement the law. The agency has reportedly taken no regulatory action.
“NHTSA’s continued delays have frustrated replica car companies and consumers,” said SEMA president and CEO Chris Kersting. “The replica car provision was designed to be easy for NHTSA to implement, as it simply extends the common-sense approach to overseeing kit-car production that the agency has employed for decades.”
SEMA has stated that the delay is creating financial hardships for small businesses committed to the program, as replica car companies began making investments in new facilities, equipment, and supplies based on the one-year timeline to implement the law.
The Greensheet reached out to NHTSA for comment but received no reply prior to publication.