Morrison & Foerster’s Automotive Process Drive signifies automotive sector shoppers in their most significant legal issues.
We have tapped our multidisciplinary Automotive Endeavor Force to get their viewpoints on what is probably to happen in terms of litigation, investigations, and enforcement actions in the automotive field in 2022. We hope these predictions will provoke discussions and thoughts on how to navigate the coming year.
Haima Marlier on SEC Enforcement:
The U.S. Securities and Trade Commission (SEC) under the current administration has been hyper-concentrated on two regions that specifically impact the automotive tech and transportation space: (1) the use of specific function acquisition businesses (SPACs) by startup and other corporations to go general public and (2) environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and local weather alter disclosures. SPACs have been especially lively in the auto-tech and transportation room, particularly in electrification startups. The SEC has been scrutinizing disclosures of conflicts of fascination that can come up between SPAC insiders and general public shareholders, and will technique deSPAC disclosures like standard preliminary public giving (IPO) disclosures. In December 2021, SEC was significantly active in pursuing firms operating in the automotive sphere which have absent public by way of the use of SPACs, which included subpoenaing an electric-vehicle (EV) corporation similar to profits projections and statements and entering into a US $125 million settlement with a zero emissions transportation system supplier similar to misleading statements to traders. We count on to see this enforcement development continue into 2022. Turning to ESG and weather transform disclosures, the SEC is conducting a large-scale inquiry into irrespective of whether public businesses, like in the automotive place, are next the agency’s 2010 climate improve disclosure steering, with a purpose of updating that direction primarily based on its conclusions. ESG disclosures are also an SEC assessment priority for 2022. Last but not least, as with any disclosures, the SEC will emphasis on whether or not ESG disclosures comprise materials omissions or misstatements relating to weather improve and other challenges.
Brian Kidd on DOJ Enforcement:
With a renewed concentration on white collar and environmental crimes, the U.S. Section of Justice (DOJ), and its several legal and civil parts, will maximize its target on the automotive industry. This will contain the continuation of the kinds of instances we have viewed in the new previous, like initiatives to manipulate emissions controls and defective or faulty automotive areas. Along with individuals investigations, DOJ will possible boost its notice on the automotive industry’s part in local climate change, and aim any failure to comply with the enhanced environmental rules that the Biden administration is possible to place in place. In the EV space, this could translate into investigations into attempts to manipulate described EV ranges and other forms of “greenwashing.” DOJ’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit, Countrywide Security Division, and Antitrust Division will also be on the lookout for transnational bribery conditions, sanctions violations, and “no poach” agreements, as talked over down below.
James Koukios on Anti-Bribery and Corruption Chance:
When EVs will