Volkswagen to European diesel owners: “Why you mad?”
That, the mailman can’t deliver on the first lawsuit against GM, Caddies built in China and 51.3 million cars were recalled in 2015 … after the break!
German officials criticizing Volkswagen for unfair treatment
Justice officials in Germany are telling Volkswagen that treating American and European owners differently “cannot be in the interest of VW” regarding its offering of compensation on one side of the Atlantic but not the other, according to Reuters.
This week, European Union officials delivered to the automaker a letter urging the company to make available a compensation package offered to U.S. owners last year. On Thursday, Volkswagen said it had no reason to consider the package for European owners because the fix for American cars would take longer.
“We are concentrating in Europe on the repair and service process,” the letter said, according to Automotive News. “The situation in the USA and Canada is not automatically comparable with other markets in the world. … Therefore this action (the compensation scheme) cannot simply be rolled out in other markets.”
First lawsuit against GM for ignition switch dismissed
An Oklahoma man who sued General Motors because he said a faulty ignition switch in his Saturn Ion disabled his car’s safety systems when it crashed withdrew his lawsuit after allegations surfaced that he forged financial paperwork to buy a house, Reuters reported.
GM lawyers argued that Robert Scheuer forged a check stub from his job as a postal worker and used it to buy a house, from which he was evicted five months later.
Scheuer’s case was considered a “bellwether trial” for hundreds of lawsuits against the automaker for its defective ignition switch that has killed 124 people.
Union workers in Ohio ask to strike against General Motors
Plant workers at an Ohio plant who build the Chevrolet Cruze asked to strike over negotiations for their local contract, The Detroit News reported.
Although GM and the United Auto Workers hammered out a long-term contract last year, many regions and local unions are working on plant-specific deals that could take months longer. Workers at the Lordstown, Ohio plant say issues such as bathroom sanitation and job standards are holding up local negotiation.
Local union leaders said up to 4,500 workers would be ready to strike.
“They told me they didn’t feel management was taking the bargaining process seriously,” UAW Region 2-B Director Ken Lortz told The Detroit News. “We’re going to get a deal done or we’re going to have a problem.”
Automakers recalled 51.3 million cars in 2015
More than 51 million cars in the U.S. were recalled in 868 separate campaigns last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The final tally fell short of 2014’s record mark of 63.9 million cars — 26 million were General Motors cars with faulty ignition switches. The final figure for 2015 represented the second-highest total for automakers in the U.S.
Last year, legislators and regulators focused heavily on automobile safety and handed out record fines to automakers such as General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. This year, 18 automakers voluntary signed an agreement to share reporting data and improve safety and recall effectiveness for their cars.
Cadillac opens plant in China
Cadillac announced Thursday that it had opened a new plant near Shanghai that will eventually build the CT6 — including a plug-in CT6 destined for American shores.
The $1.2 billion plant has a planned capacity of 122,000 cars, according to the automaker.
“This is another major milestone for Cadillac in its second-largest market,” GM Executive Vice President and President of GM China Matt Tsien said in a statement. “Local production will enable us to satisfy growing demand for luxury vehicles through the introduction of more Cadillac models built in and for China.”
Cadillac has high hopes for China, even amid the country’s massive economic slowdown.