Detroit inquired about the vans after becoming aware of Honda-modified vehicles used in Japan.

American Honda delivered 10 Odyssey minivans to the city of Detroit today, each one modified to enable the safe transport of potential COVID-19 patients to medical locations for testing and/or treatment. Engineers in Raymond, Ohio, modified the ventilation systems in the Honda Odysseys to maintain an air-pressure differential between the front and rear seats, as well as installed plastic barriers behind the front seats with an aim to better protect drivers and health-care workers from becoming infected with the novel coronavirus.

Honda engineers in Japan in April designed the system for domestic-market minivans to be used to transport coronavirus patients in the Tokyo area. News of the JDM Honda minivans led city of Detroit officials to contact the automaker about the potential for such a system in the U.S. As of Monday, Michigan counted 43,950 confirmed coronavirus cases, the majority in the Metro Detroit area, making it a hot spot for the disease in the United States.

The engineers at Honda Research & Development in Ohio brought the Odyssey minivan modifications from initial concept to completion in less than two weeks, the automaker says. The North American market Honda Odyssey is a larger minivan than the JDM minivan used in Tokyo.

Honda joins other automakers in assisting during the pandemic, which has seen global vehicle production largely halted for several weeks. Ford, for example, is using some of its facilities to produce medical ventilators, masks, face shields, medical gowns, and other equipment, as has General Motors.

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Our roads are pretty empty right now without the daily errands, school runs, and commutes we’re all so used to. In some of the U.S. ‘s most traffic-clogged cities, the lack of snarls is practically unprecedented.

For example, according to the New York Times, average rush-hour speeds on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway have increased a staggering 288 percent since stay-at-home orders were put into effect there. The Los Angeles Times reports drivers of the infamously awful 405 are averaging more than 70 mph when just a few weeks ago they would have been traveling at perhaps 40 mph.

Empty roads are great. They make commuting less onerous and allow you to enjoy your car. What’s not great the righteous few who use them as an excuse to quench their need for speed while everyone else is being responsible and staying home (or still driving the speed limit if they must be on the road). Case in point: Another report from the Los Angeles Times states traffic citations for speeds in excess of 100 mph are up 87 percent.

It’s not just in California. It’s happening all over the country. Ohio has reported the same phenomenon and so has Georgia. Then there are the goons who set a new cross-country “Cannonball” record racing from Los Angeles to New York.

This needs to stop.

Driving your (suddenly clear) favorite roads at life-endangering speeds isn’t just reckless, it’s stupid. Getting 15 minutes of fame from a sick YouTube video isn’t worth endangering countless other people. In fact, nothing is.

Less than a week ago, two men were killed in Oakland after driving at 100 mph and crashing into the back of a big rig. They also weren’t wearing seatbelts, which is not only seriously dangerous but illegal in California and 48 other states. Their friends and relatives are left behind to pick up the pieces all because two guys placed selfishness over smarts at 2 a.m.

Now let’s say these two guys were lucky enough to have survived that wreck. These men would no doubt be in serious condition and in need of immediate medical attention and trauma care, which puts additional—and unnecessary—strain on a hospital system already terribly overstressed and understaffed during a global health crisis. It’s all entirely avoidable.

If you want to drive fast, go to your local drag strip or take your car to a track; if they’re closed for now, wait until they’re open. Put your vehicle and your skills to the test in a closed, safe environment to see if you’re really as fast as you think you are. Odds are, you probably have some work to do. We can’t all be Randy Pobst.

If you’re reading MotorTrend, you probably love driving as much as we do. We’re fortunate enough to test some of the quickest cars to ever hit the road. But we test our cars on a track and we use closed roads to film. Those fancy burnouts and drifting shots you see in our magazine and on our website, as well as on the numerous shows on the MotorTrend App, weren’t done while putting anyone in danger who hadn’t specifically assumed the risk.

This isn’t to say we at MotorTrend are perfect drivers. We’ve been caught for exceeding the speed limit in the past, and have paid the fines for doing so. But we also realize that the street is not a racetrack. We know and respect that a love of speed is far less important than the safety of others on the road.

So do everyone a favor and cut out the ridiculous speeding. Pay attention to the road (including putting down your phone), obey all traffic laws, and wear your seatbelt. It might save your life—and someone else’s, too.

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After shutdowns in China, Europe, the U.S. finally halts its car factories.

The chips are falling. As communities and whole countries go into lockdown, and people are unable to go to work and have stopped buying cars, more auto plants are closing temporarily for both health and economic reasons and that includes key facilities in the U.S.

The initial impact was felt in China, which was the first country to experience the COVID-19 coronavirus, the first to impose quarantines, the first to close plants and the first to see dramatic sales falloffs of about 80 percent for most automakers. China is now restoring production. Next came Europe, and the auto industry there is feeling the pinch. FCA, Ford, Ferrari, Daimler, Lamborghini, and others have idled European operations.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said today it will suspend production at its Goodwood plant for two weeks starting March 23, which will be followed by the previously planned two-week Easter shutdown for maintenance. The moves are in keeping with the U.K. government measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “This action has not been taken lightly, but the health and well-being of our exceptional workforce is first and foremost in our minds,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce, in a statement. “We are a tight-knit community at the Home of Rolls‑Royce and I have no doubt that our resilience will shine through during this extraordinary time.” He also apologized for any inconvenience to customers.

But What’s The Impact Here In The U.S.?
Now it is the U.S. ‘s turn. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union wanted General Motors, Ford, and FCA to shut down their domestic plants for two weeks. The Detroit Three and UAW formed a joint task force to increase safety and health protections for factory employees and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. It has been a fast-moving series of decisions. After lengthy negotiations, the automakers initially agreed to rotating partial shutdown of facilities, extensive deep cleaning between shifts, longer periods between shifts, and extensive plans to avoid member contact. “They will be working on shift rotation to minimize risk,” the UAW confirmed Tuesday night.

But by Wednesday afternoon things had escalated further. GM and Ford put out news releases saying they would temporarily suspend manufacturing in North America until at least March 30.

“We have agreed to a systematic, orderly suspension of production to aid in fighting COVID-19/coronavirus,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We have been taking extraordinary precautions around the world to keep our plant environments safe and recent developments in North America make it clear this is the right thing to do now.” She said she appreciated the teamwork of the UAW “as we take this unprecedented step.” GM will take down the plants in an orderly fashion. Each facility will be told how they fit into the cadence.

Ford will take down its plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, after the end of shifts on Thursday and they will remain down through March 30. Ford closed its Michigan Assembly Plant Wednesday morning after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

FCA later chimed in to say it will cease production at North American plants with some closing as early as today. All will be down through the end of March at which point the automaker will re-evaluate. CEO Mike Manley visited a number of plants this week to better gauge the best course of action for employees.

Honda today said it will stop making vehicles in the U.S. for six days, a loss of about 40,000 vehicles that would have been assembled from March 23 to March 31. The action affects vehicle assembly plants as well as engine and transmission plants. Affected plants are in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Canada and Mexico, covering a wide swath of models.

Some North American plants have already experienced hiccups with worried workers walking off the job. While most did not impact production, the FCA plant in Windsor, Ontario, stopped making minivans for 24 hours due to a work refusal. Volkswagen closed its Chattanooga plant for a day this week to give it a deep clean and to help employees find child care with many schools closing.

Is Tesla Essential?
Tesla did not stop production at its Fremont, Calif. plant even though six counties in the San Francisco area are under a shelter-at-home order. That prompted the Alameda County sheriff to declare in a tweet that Tesla is not an essential business which means it can “retain minimum basic operations” but could be forced to close some of its operations, including the plant in Fremont that makes the Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to employees on Monday saying he would be at work but they do not need to come to work if ill or uncomfortable.

Availability of parts will also determine how long plants can operate. Ford was forced to stop production of the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, and police vehicles, at its Chicago Assembly Plant for about 24 hours when it could not get enough seats from a Lear plant where two workers tested positive for the virus and the parts plant was closed temporarily.

Dealers are also shutting their doors although some are keeping the service bays open, deeming them an essential service.

The Economic Hit To The Car Industry
A single week of lost auto sales in the U.S. has a huge economic ripple effect, according to Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics with the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sales are expected to fall off dramatically and the Center’s data shows a week of missed sales comes at the cost of about 94,400 jobs and $7.3 billion in earnings.

Most analysts expected U.S. sales to fall slightly in 2020 but now forecasts suggest it could reach double-digits if consumers don’t act on their pent-up demand and buy new cars when the world returns to more normalcy. But the crisis is not expected to be as severe as the financial downturn in 2008-2009 which resulted in bankruptcy filings by both GM and Chrysler, and left Ford teetering on the brink. All automakers made systemic changes to their operations to make them leaner and more productive to better weather future storms.

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Three people were charged in King County Superior Court in connection to two separate auto insurance fraud cases after investigations by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit.

In the first case, Sawsan Al-Tamimi and Yassir Al-Mtowag each were charged with one count of filing a fraudulent insurance claim.

According to the investigation, Yassir Al-Mtowag rear-ended another car in Issaquah at 7:50 a.m. on Sept. 18, 2018. His uninsured 2014 Ford Fiesta was registered to his Lynnwood, Wash., business, Sunshine Market.

At 8:15 a.m., Al-Mtowag’s mother, Sawsan Al-Tamimi, called Progressive Insurance and added the Ford Fiesta to her policy. At noon, Al-Mtowag filed a claim with Progressive. He stated the collision happened after 9 a.m., but the driver of the other car told Progressive it occurred at 7:50 a.m. while she was driving to work.

The damage to both cars was estimated at $4,423. Progressive denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.

In the second case, Moshe Kipersztok was charged with one count of filing a fraudulent insurance claim.

According to the investigation, Kipersztok’s GEICO policy was canceled for nonpayment on March 19, 2018. He reinstated coverage on his 2014 Audi Q5 effective April 5. On April 8, he filed a claim with GEICO for an estimated $6,438 in damage that he said occurred in a hit-and-run while the car was parked at a Bellevue restaurant on April 7.

GEICO ran a claim history on the Audi and found one filed with Travelers Insurance on March 23 for the same damage. Travelers denied the claim, which resulted from a collision with another vehicle, because of a dispute over which driver was at fault.

GEICO also denied Kipersztok’s claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.

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The seven-figure transaction price for Ford’s new 760-hp Mustang is going to a very good cause

The premise of paying a seven-digit sum for a Mustang might seem ridiculous to some, but in the charity auction world, that’s not an unheard-of amount of money to score the very first (or final) example of a hot car. As promised, the first production 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 crossed the auction block and has become the latest “first” to gavel for huge money. How much? The GT500 with the VIN ending in 001 was snapped up by Barrett-Jackson’s own Craig Jackson for $1.1 million.

As a refresher, the 760-hp, supercharged 2020 GT500 is the most powerful Mustang ever made, and outside of a for-a-good-cause, heated auction environment, it’s set to retail for $70,300. Our just-released test data shows the mighty Mustang sprints from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and scorching the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds at 131.6 mph. Around the figure eight, the GT500 posted a 23.5-second lap. For a little context, a Ferrari 812 Superfast did the same lap in 23.3 seconds, meaning the Ford is within spitting distance of some very elite metal.

The first-off-the-line GT500 wears a special one-off paint job that pays homage to the “Green Hornet,” a 1968 Shelby GT500 prototype. Since Jackson posted the winning bid, Ford allowed him to pick whatever color he wanted for the car, and even be on site during its assembly in Flat Rock, Michigan. The car will make its public debut at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auctions January 11-19 alongside a number of other notable Mustangs from Jackson’s collection, including “Little Red,” a rare early GT500 coupe prototype that was discovered in 2018.

The money from the GT500 oo1’s sale is going to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Some 200,000 Americans under the age of 20 suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, the condition that the JDRF strives to fight. If you want more information on the JDRF and what they do, check out their site here. Oh, and this isn’t the first Mustang Barrett-Jackson has auctioned off for a good cause. Since 2007, the auction house has sold 20 Ford vehicles and helped raise more than $6.5 million for JDRF. If you ask us, there are few better reasons to plunk down more than a million bucks for a muscle car.

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Investigators from the California Department of Insurance, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol have arrested four suspects for alleged involvement in an organized auto fraud ring reportedly costing insurers $500,000.

The arrests of the suspects were made late last week.

The auto fraud ring reportedly involved schemes with dealers purchasing damaged vehicles and then filing inflated claims, and even staging thefts

In total 10 suspects have been charged in this joint task force investigation dubbed Operation Dealer’s Choice.

Operation Dealer’s Choice was initiated after the San Diego District Attorney’s Office received a consumer call claiming the ring was purchasing vehicles at local auto auctions, and after insuring and registering them, filing fraudulent total damage or theft claims to receive unearned payouts from insurance carriers. The case was investigated by the San Diego County Organized Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force made up of the California Department of Insurance, San Diego District Attorney’s Office and California Highway Patrol.

The investigation determined the ring purchased vehicles at auction that were already damaged, had high mileage, or both, at a significantly low dollar amount. Once the vehicle was purchased, registered and insured by a carrier, the suspects filed a total damage or total theft claim and the ring shared the profits.

Investigators discovered 35 possible fraudulent auto insurance claims were filed over a four-year period. Roughly 56 vehicles were used by the ring.

Numerous vehicles purchased by the suspects in this case had the vehicles’ odometer mileages “rolled back” in order to increase the value of the vehicle before it was damaged or reported stolen. The remaining vehicles had significant damage prior to being insured unbeknownst to the carrier, or are believed to be damaged by the group after being insured.

The ring victimized 12 insurance carriers including Nationwide, Stonewood, USAA, California Casualty, Allstate, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, GEICO, Kemper, Wawanesa and AAA. The dollar loss estimate for this case is in excess of $500,000 at this time.

Suspects in this case reportedly used various schemes including incepting policies on a vehicle that had pre-existing damage, filing claims shortly after the policy’s date of inception, then letting the policy lapse shortly after collecting a check for their loss due to non-payment.

They also reportedly filed suspected “staged collisions” in which they would purposely damage vehicles to the point of a “total loss” to collect an insurance claim check for the damage. Suspects also “staged thefts” in which they got paid for the theft of their vehicle after they, themselves, made the vehicle disappear.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices increased solidly in November, which together with labor market strength could support the Federal Reserve’s intention to keep interest rates steady indefinitely after reducing borrowing costs three times this year.

The report from the Labor Department on Wednesday also showed underlying inflation firming last month.

The U.S. central bank held rates unchanged on Wednesday amid expectations the economy will continue to grow moderately next year and unemployment remain low. The Fed again signaled a pause in the easing cycle that started in July when it cut rates for the first time since 2008.

“There are no worrisome deflation undercurrents in this economy and Fed officials do not need to cut interest rates further to boost economic demand,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

The consumer price index rose 0.3% last month as households paid more for gasoline and electricity, and food prices increased for a third consecutive month. The CPI advanced 0.4% in October. In the 12 months through November, the CPI shot up 2.1% after gaining 1.8% in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI climbing 0.2% in November and rising 2.0% on a year-on-year basis.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI rose by 0.2%, matching October’s increase. The so-called core CPI was up by an unrounded 0.2298% last month compared to 0.1572% in October. The core CPI was lifted by gains in healthcare and prices of used cars and trucks, recreation and hotel and motel accommodation.

In the 12 months through November, the core CPI increased 2.3% after a similar gain in October.

The Fed tracks the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for its 2.0% inflation target, which is lagging other inflation measures. The core PCE price index rose 1.6% on a year-on-year basis in October and has undershot its target this year.

November PCE price data will be published later this month.

The wide gap between the core PCE price index and core CPI exists because housing and healthcare have different weightings in each inflation measure. Even with the CPI perking up, the outlook for inflation remains benign.

In a separate report on Tuesday, the Atlanta Fed said its sticky-price consumer price index (CPI), a weighted basket of items that change price relatively slowly, rose 2.6% on an annualized basis in November after increasing 3.3% in October. It was up 2.8% year-on-year in November.

The dollar was steady against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury prices rose. Stocks on Wall Street were trading slightly higher.
RISING RENTS

November’s firmer inflation readings followed a report last Friday showing the economy added a robust 266,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell back to 3.5%, its lowest level in nearly half a century. Other data on housing, trade and manufacturing have also been relatively upbeat, and suggested the economy was growing at moderate speed rather than stalling.

“The economy appears well positioned to find its footing and extend the expansion into 2020,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In November, gasoline prices rose 1.1% after rebounding 3.7% in October. Prices for food as well as food consumed at home edged up 0.1%. Core goods prices were unchanged last month, despite U.S. tariffs on merchandise imported from China.

The cost of core services rose 0.3% after increasing 0.2% in October. Owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, increased 0.2% last month, matching October’s rise.

The rent index gained 0.3% after edging up 0.1% in October, which was the smallest gain since April 2011. It was lifted by a 1.1% rebound in the cost of hotel and motel accommodation after tumbling 3.8% in October.

Healthcare costs rose 0.3% in November after surging 1.0% in October, which was the most since August 2016. The cost of hospital services rose 0.3% last month and prices for doctor visits gained 0.1%. But prices for prescription medication slipped 0.1% after surging 1.8% in October.

Apparel prices nudged up 0.1% last month after declining 1.8% in October. Used motor vehicle and truck prices increased 0.6% after rising 1.3% in October. The cost of recreation goods and services increased 0.4%, boosted by rises in the prices of cable and satellite television services and sporting goods.

But new vehicle prices fell for a fifth straight month, likely because of deep discounting by automakers trying to get rid of stocks of older models. There were also decreases in the prices of airline tickets and motor vehicle insurance. The cost of household furnishing and operations was unchanged.

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Auto insurance premiums in the US are now the highest on record, according to an annual report from car insurance search engine The Zebra, which found that insurance rates increased for 83% of American drivers over the last year. With many factors to blame, from a driver’s zip code to the cost of repairing technology-laden vehicles, the insurance market is “tightening its belt,” particularly in commercial auto.

One expert in this space calls the state of the auto insurance market “fragile, to say the least.”

“Carriers are trying to reduce their losses at this point, and a lot of different things are going on that’s driving that, whether it’s distracted driving, which is at an all-time high [or] fuel costs being down, so more people are driving on the roads than before,” said Larry McLean (pictured), vice president at Insurance Office of America (IOA), adding, “Vehicles are more expensive to fix and continually get more expensive to fix. We’ve got adaptive cruise control, cameras, parking assists – all those things [were implemented] in high-end cars a couple of years ago and now, a lot of the cars have them. A car that cost $3,000 to fix might be $6,000 to fix today.”

A litigious environment, with aggressive attorneys stalking their next prey, hasn’t helped losses in commercial auto either. Similarly to personal auto, insurers are trying to figure out how to monitor people’s driving behaviors, and pick up the best accounts with the safest drivers to help with profitability. Tech-based tools have been especially effective in mitigating risks, such as devices that block cell phone use when a vehicle is moving.

“They can actually talk on a Bluetooth headset, but other than that, they can’t text, they can’t read an email, they can’t go on Facebook, so everything freezes on the phone,” explained McLean, adding that these devices can also track a vehicle’s speed and other driving habits. “We also use driver-facing and forward-facing cameras, so if we have bigger trucks or a fleet of vehicles, we see a lot of times that a dump truck operator will get dragged into a lawsuit when they didn’t do anything wrong, but [another driver] tried to squeeze by them on an exit, for example, and hit the side of the truck.”

Cameras can help verify what actually happened and prevent added losses from lawsuits.

When companies are hiring drivers for commercial fleets, screening for bad hires through integrity testing is another useful method to lower risk by weeding out candidates that are quick to anger, or have a propensity to use drugs or steal.

“You might have somebody that seems OK, but they’re basically a bomb ready to go off, so it can help with multiple things – not just driving, but better employees, a better fit for your team from a social aspect to create the culture you need, and then all the way down to [protecting against a] hostile workplace,” said McLean.

For smaller commercial auto businesses, it’s important for brokers and agents to explain to them why their auto insurance costs are rising, and paint a clear picture of the cause and effect between the various factors contributing to higher premiums, including accidents.

“They think of it as corporate money and they realize it’s coming out of their pocket as well, so we try to make an emotional connection with them that it’s not corporate America – for these small businesses, that’s your profit, that’s your bonus, that’s your growth,” said McLean.

On the personal auto side, changes are also coming as HR 1756, a new bill recently introduced in Congress, will make it illegal for auto insurance companies to use consumers’ credit scores in determining insurance rates.

“They do that because they say those are the people most likely to have an accident, and that’s as far from the truth as it can be,” said Donald Hardy, founder of the Georgia-based insurance agency Quantum Benefits, adding that he’d also like to see a requirement that auto insurers must notify the insured when their liability and premium change.

“The insurance industry should, number one, be required to notify a person who’s driving an older vehicle that their coverage has been reduced to comply with state laws, and, number two, your premium should be reduced to correspond with the liability involved. As it is now, you can be driving a 20-year-old car and still pay brand new rates on it, and, if you wreck it, they’re not going to repair it,” said Hardy.

The takeaway is that insurers need to keep lines of communication open with insureds, along with taking advantage of tools that can help decrease exposures.

“We’ll do bi-monthly meetings where we discuss loss trends with the clients that have had challenges, [or] we’ll go in and shut down the company for three hours every other month and [conduct] driver training,” said McLean. “It’s not a matter of flipping a switch, but it’s trying different levers that might help altogether.”

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially signed a landmark no-fault auto insurance reform bill today (May 30). The legislation, which passed with bipartisan support, is designed to lower the state’s ‘extortionate’ insurance premiums by letting drivers forego a one-of-a-kind requirement to buy unlimited medical coverage for crash injuries.

The bill, which will take effect next week once it has been filed with the Office of the Great Seal, will guarantee rate reductions for every Michigan motorist and offer choice among personal injury protection, or PIP, levels, which often make up about 50% of car insurance premiums. According to earlier Associated Press reports, a rollback in PIP rates will start in July 2020 and last for eight years.

The legislation also prohibits the use of several non-driving factors in setting rates and scale back reimbursements for health providers that treat accident victims to 190% to 230% of what Medicare pays, according to a report by wwjnewsradio.com.

In contrast to some other no-fault auto insurance states, Michigan doesn’t have a fee schedule for care covered by auto insurers, which means they’re often paying much more for the same services than employer plans or government insurance, such as Medicare, have to pay.

This has contributed to Michigan’s very costly average auto insurance premium. According to a recent report by The Zebra, an insurance comparison website, the average auto insurance premium in Michigan is $2,693, which is 83% higher than the national average of $1,470. Detroit’s premium on average is a staggering $5,464, which is much higher than any other US city.

After signing the reform bill into law at the Mackinac Policy Conference, Governor Whitmer told WWJ that the bipartisan cooperation in Michigan is a stark contrast to what’s coming out of Washington.

She said: “When we focus on these fundamentals, I think we can find common ground. There’s so much ideology and dysfunction in Washington D.C. and I am determined not to let that divided government paralyze us in Michigan, but to make it incredibly productive.”

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Just weeks after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a landmark no-fault auto insurance reform bill, legislators are demanding for more to be done to reduce the state’s extortionate auto insurance rates.

US Rep. Rashida Tlaib has introduced a bill called the Prohibit Auto Insurance Discrimination Act (PAID), which would prevent auto insurance companies from using non-driving factors like zip code, census tract, gender, education, occupation, employment, homeownership, credit score, and marital status, to determine rates.

According to a report in the Detroit Metro Times, Tlaib brought PAID to the table alongside Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., because she believes the bill recently signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer “does not go far enough to stop these harmful practices” of using non-driving factors.

“Auto insurance rates should be determined by your driving record, not your credit score, gender, marital status, education, residence, or any other non-driving factor that has nothing to do with your safety on the roads,” Tlaib commented. “Drivers in Michigan’s 13th congressional district face some of the highest car insurance rates in the nation, and non-driving factors that serve as proxies for race and income and allow modern-day redlining are a main culprit. The use of non-driving factors puts marginalized communities at a disadvantage and creates obstacles to economic opportunity for families.”

According to the insurance search engine, The Zebra, Michigan has the highest auto insurance rates in the country, with an average premium of $2,693. Some drivers in the state are paying in the realm of $5,000 every year to get on the roads, which takes a significant chunk out of the average annual income of Detroiters.

Watson Coleman told the Detroit Metro Times: “Car insurance is absolutely necessary for most American families, so when companies raise rates for unfair, undisclosed, and unproven reasons, families are going to be hurt. Income proxies like where you work or whether you have a college degree don’t weed out bad drivers — they just create a two-tier system where those who make less get charged higher rates. Working families deserve better than a system that is fundamentally unfair.”

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