Category: Law and Order

By on November 10, 2015


Uh-oh, Spaghetti-O’s!

When I first heard about this video a couple of days ago, I had what I’ll call the Typical Car Guy’s Reaction: Those stupid pigs. Why are they harassing a family with a Tesla? What percentage of criminal behavior in the country is perpetrated by people who own Teslas? Is it because the people in the video aren’t lily-white? Is it because the cops were bored? Because they wanted to exercise their authority on yet another hapless family of meek motorists?

Every anti-police cliche ran through my head. It didn’t help to actually watch the video and see the cop order the little kid back into the car like he was El Chapo or something.

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By on October 22, 2015


Complaints filed against Volkswagen of America are using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to allege that the automaker knowingly committed fraud across state lines, court documents show.

The law, which was created in the 1970s to take down the U.S. mafia, could have serious ramifications for Volkswagen, who admitted that its cars illegally polluted.

Accusing the automaker of violating RICO Act would mean that lawsuits against the automaker could be more lucrative and amplify damage to the automaker.

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By on October 20, 2015

2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 4x4 6.2 (1 of 25)

A lawsuit filed in Southern California said that GMC’s headlights in their 2013 and 2014 pickups are too dim and that the automaker knowingly expanded the use of its headlights to other trucks and SUVs, despite customers’ complaints that the cars were unsafe to drive at night.

The lawsuit, filed on Oct. 19, was first reported by Law 360.

According to court documents, the trucks were fitted with a single bulb for low and high beams, rather than three bulbs normally used for fog lights, low- and high-beam lights. According to the lawsuit, the truck owner paid for aftermarket lights to make the truck safe to drive.

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By on October 15, 2015


A group of owners of 7-liter V-8 powered, 2006-2014 Chevrolet Corvettes have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against General Motors claiming those models have excessive valve guide wear that leads to engine failures.

The filing, which was made Wednesday, said General Motors is aware of the problem, but has yet to come up with a solution.

The 19 owners have filed more than 70 claims, “including violations of the RICO Act, unjust enrichment, negligence and fraud,” reported Law360.

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By on October 15, 2015


Don’t look now, but “Periscope” is officially a thing.

The social-media platform allows people to broadcast live from their phones whenever they like, thus bringing the average 23-year-old American woman just that much closer to her dream of becoming a fourth-rate reality television “star” at the expense of all other potential accomplishments.

I can see Periscope being of some use in the upcoming “American Spring” populist uprising, except for the fact that Twitter and Facebook and the like have long since decided to lick the boots of our corporate Ingsoc in whatever fashion is most deferentially pleasing to Mr. Obama, Mrs. Merkel, and Xi Jinping. So when the balloon goes up and you see me and Zack de la Rocha rolling a Viper ACR loaded with grenade launchers down the street, the Twitter “fail whale” will be all you can get, because anything else would be uncivilized.

The automotive world has used Periscope for a few new-vehicle reveals and a series of vignettes in which my friend Adam uses Turtle Wax™ to get some shine on his Isuzu Impulse. But it wasn’t until Whitney Beall of Lakeland … you guessed it … Florida, started Periscoping her drunk-driving adventure that the true potential of this newest navel-gazing “app” was well and truly revealed.

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By on October 2, 2015

German transportation authorities said Friday that Volkswagen can’t phone a friend for help, they’re on their own.

“At this point we have no indication of other manufacturers being involved,” a government spokesman, said according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

Being the only automaker embroiled in the scandal — for now — means that Volkswagen will have to face alone the wrath from governments tripping over themselves to charge the automaker with just about anything they want. In the U.S., Volkswagen faces a pending congressional inquiry; in France, prosecutors have opened an investigation for “aggravated deception;” in Italy, the government’s antitrust authority has begun an investigation; in Switzerland — you get the idea.

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By on October 1, 2015


German prosecutors on Thursday said they focused too quickly on former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and removed a statement from earlier this week that they were investigating the former executive for the scandal that has engulfed the German carmaker.

In a statement by the Lower Saxony prosecutor’s office obtained by Automotive News Europe on Thursday, the office said there must be “concrete facts” before officially investigating Winterkorn. So far, no specific individuals have been named in the office’s investigation.

The stakes are high for whomever may be responsible for the 11 million cars that illegally cheated emissions tests. Volkswagen supervisory board member Olaf Lies told The Local in Germany that “those people who allowed this to happen, or who made the decision to install this software — they acted criminally. They must take personal responsibility.”

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By on September 28, 2015

Xu Winterkorn - Picture coutesy

A criminal complaint in Germany (that could have been filed by anyone) has prompted an investigation into whether former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn knew the automaker was selling cars with an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions test, Reuters reported.

Several complaints have been filed with German prosecutors, including one from within Volkswagen, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Winterkorn’s investigation may take months — or even years — as German authorities look into how widespread cheating and lying was at the automaker.

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By on September 25, 2015

Used Car Dealership NYC

Used car dealerships have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Volkswagen over cars they say they can’t sell and are seeking the same compensation the German automaker is offering its new car dealers, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

According to the attorney representing the dealers, selling the cars could put the businesses at risk of lawsuits from their customers. If the used dealers can’t sell their in-stock Volkswagen diesels, the businesses would shoulder the losses, the lawsuit alleges. Read More >

By on September 25, 2015


A recent press release on the completion and success of a three-year program to test biofuels in Volkswagen Jetta and Passat TDI models may hint that two external companies had knowledge of the high levels of NOx produced by the “Clean Diesel” vehicles.

The two California-based companies — Solazyme and Amyris — were given the Volkswagen vehicles to test their fuels. VW announced that the program was a success a few months ago, stating CO2 emissions were reduced when using the biofuels. However, the companies only would have known their fuels produced less emissions if the biofuel companies tested the emissions output using diesel fuel and compared it with their own products.

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