SEMA Federal Legislative Priorities: 2023

Electric Vehicle Mandates:

Reducing tailpipe emissions is a top priority for the Biden Administration and the environmental community. Central to this goal is increasing fuel efficiency standards, which the Administration plans to achieve by increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). While the sales of EVs are rapidly expanding, it is imperative that consumers have a choice over whether they drive a vehicle with an internal combustion engine or an EV. Policymakers should let the free market determine the adoption of EVs. SEMA strongly opposes legislation that eliminates consumer choice, including the Zero Emissions Vehicle Act, which proposes to mandate the percentage of new vehicles sold that are zero emissions to 35% in 2026, 43% in 2027, 51% in 2028, 59% in 2029, 68% in 2030, 76% in 2031, 82% in 2032, 88% in 2033, 94% in 2034, and 100% in 2035.

Right to Repair & Modify Vehicles: 

As automotive technology continues to evolve, automotive enthusiasts and aftermarket businesses must have access to the tools and information necessary to allow for consumer choice to modify, service, and preserve our vehicles. SEMA is committed to protecting your right to these basic freedoms. The REPAIR Act (Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair), is bipartisan legislation that would ensure enthusiasts, specialty businesses, and repair shops have access to the information and tools that are needed to produce and install parts that maintain and upgrade the cars, trucks, and SUVs we love. Without Congressional protection, access to vehicle data from automobiles and their components may become off-limits.

SEMA supports reasonable cybersecurity and safety measures that protect the safety of the vehicle owner and their passengers. However, Congress must ensure cybersecurity and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) policy are not used as pretexts to prevent enthusiasts from working on their vehicles or to prevent competition in the automotive repair and modification industry. 

SEMA supports the REPAIR Act because:

  • The legislation is pro-consumer, and it protects the independent marketplace that allows owners a choice on where to have their vehicle serviced, repaired, or modified. 
  • It prohibits motor vehicle manufacturers from employing any technological or legal barriers that block enthusiasts, aftermarket parts manufacturers, and vehicle repair facilities from accessing critical repair information and tools. 
  • The bill also requires companies producing vehicles equipped with telematics to make available to aftermarket manufacturers and repair facilities any critical repair information and tools at a fair and reasonable cost. 

Vehicle Technology:

Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS) are active and passive safety performance technologies that assist drivers and automate vehicle systems. ADAS gather information and helps to improve driving safety through features such as electronic stability control, forward-collision warning, lane departure, advanced braking, and adaptive cruise control. Vehicle sensors track speed, location, and other conditions about the vehicle being driven. Automakers are integrating passive and active ADAS technologies into new cars, as these driver assistance features are expected to reduce automotive injuries and accidents. ADAS presents a significant opportunity for aftermarket retrofitting and new vehicle upgrades. However, it is imperative that enthusiasts and aftermarket business can modify vehicles with ADAS technology.

E15 Ethanol:

Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations, can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers, causing damage to high-performance parts and older vehicles manufactured prior to 2001 that were constructed without ethanol-resistant materials. The EPA has approved the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) for use in 2001 and newer vehicles while making it illegal to fuel older cars and motorcycles based on evidence that it could cause damage to those vehicles and engines.  The issue is especially problematic since the EPA only requires a gas pump warning label, which may be inadequate to prevent misfueling by motorists unfamiliar with potential E15 harm.  SEMA opposes expanding the availability of E15 to year-round.

Bonneville Salt Flats:

The Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) are a national treasure and unique resource of international significance central to the history of motorsports. Hundreds of land speed records have been set there in a variety of automotive and motorcycle classes. However, the BSF have significantly decreased in size since the 1960s when the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued leases allowing salt brine to be channeled away to an adjoining potash mine. To address this ongoing issue, SEMA helped organize the Save the Salt Coalition, companies and organizations with a vested interest in protecting the BSF. The BLM and Utah DNR signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2020 to jointly pursue restoration efforts. The program, which SEMA calls Restore Bonneville, is managed by DNR, in conjunction with the BLM, and operated by Intrepid Potash. 

The 2021 installation of the new water well and equipment to measure water evaporation rates and collect scientific data represented a tangible start to the ambitious restoration effort. The program will seek to identify the best ways to take advantage of the salt laydown and study the effects on the salt crust and underlying brine aquifer. For example, the program will consider ways to contain the salt within the large pumping area. If current research proves beneficial, efforts may be extended into the future upon funding availability. The Restore Bonneville program pumping upgrades will be largely funded through federal and State of Utah appropriations. For more information, visit, a website maintained by SEMA.    

OHVs and Land Use Legislation:

Maintaining off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to public lands is a top priority for the SAN. Threats to off-highway vehicle (OHV) access typically take form in legislation passed by Congress or regulations issued by the BLM, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and other federal and state agencies. The actions threaten recreational access, designate lands as “wilderness” (roadless) or “National Monuments,” or unnecessarily close lands to protect endangered species. Public land access issues are of keen interest to off-roaders. SEMA supports land-use policies that expand responsible OHV recreational opportunities and opposes land use policies that limit access, such as wilderness and national monument designations. For additional information, please click on the following link: Off Roading

National Monuments:

Under the Antiquities Act, a law dating back more than 100 years, the President of the United States has the authority to declare public land with “historic or scientific interest” to be a National Monument. While a National Monument designation does not immediately close any roads, it prohibits new roads or trails for motorized vehicles and will require drafting of a new land management plan. Under this law, hundreds of millions of acres have been set aside over the decades leading many to question whether the footprints are larger than necessary. SEMA supports legislation that would require approval by the U.S. Congress and impacted state legislature to establish a National Monument. 

“Outdoor Recreation” Economy:

SEMA and over 25 other trade associations have established the “Outdoor Recreation Roundtable” (ORR) to showcase outdoor recreation as being a key contributor to the nation’s economy. ORR works to promote federal policy and legislative reforms needed to increase recreational access, which helps to grow the outdoor recreation economy—estimated to be $862 billion annually and supporting an estimated 4.3 million jobs. SEMA’s focus is on expanding motorized recreation access for 4-wheel, ATVs, UTVs, etc. The specialty automotive aftermarket is produces products needed to tow RVs, trailers, boats, and off-road vehicles, including suspension, wheels, tires, increased horsepower, etc. For more information: Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus:

The Caucus was formed in 1996 in honor of the 100th year of the American automobile and to recognize the contributions the automotive performance and motorsports industry has made to the U.S. economy. This informal and bi-partisan Congressional Caucus, which now has over 70 members, pays tribute to America’s ever-growing love affair with the car, motorsports and the specialty auto parts industry. Consumer sales of motor vehicle performance, appearance, comfort, convenience, and technology products total $45 billion in annually, while providing jobs for more than one million Americans. In its 26-year history, the Caucus is serving to raise the industry’s profile on Capitol Hill and in the eyes of the public. The Caucus does not seek to reach a consensus on legislative issues. For more information on joining the "Motorsports Caucus,” please contact Christian Robinson at

Collector Car Appreciation Day:

July 8, 2022, marked the 13th consecutive year that Congress has commemorated "Collector Car Appreciation Day" with a resolution. This annual event raises awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. The resolution noted that “the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States.” With the support of SEMA and the SEMA Action Network (SAN), car clubs, enthusiast organizations, and affiliated businesses hosted more than 140 official events to commemorate the day. Events ranged from car cruises to small-business open houses and product giveaways.  The next CCAD is scheduled for Friday, July 14, 2023, and SEMA will be working with Congress to pass a CCAD resolution to honor the event. For more information: Collector Car Appreciation Day


While SEMA supports taking actions against unfair trade practices, tariffs are a blunt instrument for dealing with trade disputes and often have unexpected and unwelcome consequences. Beyond imposing a tax on trade, tariffs create downstream price spikes, hoarding, marketplace confusion and supply chain disruption. Although the intent may be to use the tariffs as bargaining chips in trade negotiations, they have already inflicted harm on many SEMA members who are now faced with trying to absorb higher prices. The U.S. government has imposed tariffs on imported steel (25%), aluminum (10%), and tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese products (25%). SEMA urges the president and lawmakers to use other mechanisms available under U.S. trade law to combat unfair trade.  


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