Tag: lawsuit

By on January 4, 2016

2013-volkswagen-lineup

(UPDATE: Updates the story throughout, including penalty figures. Volkswagen comment.)

The Justice Department on Monday filed a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Volkswagen for illegally selling emissions-cheating cars in the U.S. from 2009 until last year and said the automaker withheld information about its 3-liter diesel engine’s “defeat device” after investigators uncovered the scandal.

The lawsuit, filed in eastern Michigan court, seeks more than $40 billion in damages from the automaker.

In announcing the lawsuit, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency signaled that regulators and officials may be at a standstill with Volkswagen regarding how it intends to fix its cars in the U.S.

“So far, recall discussions with the company have not produced an acceptable way forward. These discussions will continue in parallel with the federal court action,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance at EPA, said in a statement.

(Read More…)

By on December 29, 2015

2014 GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab Front Three Quarter in Iridium Meta. Photo courtesy GM/Pickuptrucks.com

A California man sued General Motors this month for revising its tow ratings for his 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3-liter V-8, which meant he couldn’t tow his toy-hauler and golf cart, according to court records.

The complaint, which was filed Dec. 11 in Central California’s district court, said General Motors intentionally misrepresented its claims for Richard Quintero’s truck, which he purchased in July 2013 for nearly $47,000.

According to Quintero’s attorneys, the man opted to buy the 2014 truck because its advertised tow rating of 8,800 pounds was significantly higher than the 2013 model’s 6,900 pounds. GM lowered the 2014 trucks’ ratings to 6,800 pounds in a letter to owners, which was less than Quintero’s 1,000-pound golf cart and 6,700-pound trailer. (Read More…)

By on December 23, 2015

Takata-jpg

Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reported that engineers at Honda demanded to know why Takata airbags were injuring drivers and passengers during a 2009 meeting held four months before investigators started their inquiry.

“Why does it explode? I want to know the truth,” an engineer identified as “Otaka” asked Takata’s CEO at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.

Minutes from a July 2009 meeting between Honda executives and Takata officials were made public as part of a lawsuit against the airbag maker. (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2015

Miller Motorsports Park Circa May 2008

A Utah judge has blocked the sale of Miller Motorsports Park to a Chinese investment firm because county commissioners may have illegally lowered the price to below fair-market value, KSL reported Thursday.

In a filing, Judge Robert Atkins said Tooele county officials tasked with selling the shuttered racetrack ignored higher bids to sell the racetrack for $20 million to Geely-backed Mitime Investment and Development Group. According to the report, county tax officials estimated the value of the track at $28.1 million.

A competing bidder, Center Point Management, said it offered $22.5 million for the park. The Wyoming-based company filed a lawsuit to stop the sale because they said county officials ignored their bid based on unverified promises by the Chinese group. (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2015

Paul Walker’s father, acting on behalf of the late-actor’s estate, filed a lawsuit against Porsche this week for failing to include safety features, such as stability control, side impact protectors and a fuel-line cutoff that the family said could have saved the actor’s life in a crash, the Associated Press reported.

The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT lacked basic safety features to protect Walker in his fatal crash in November 2013, the wrongful death lawsuit alleges. A similar lawsuit was filed against Porsche by Walker’s widow and daughter in September. Porsche has denied wrongdoing in those lawsuits.

According to the report, Porsche said this month that the car Walker was riding in while Roger Rodas was driving — which spun out of control, hit three trees and burst into flames — had been modified and improperly maintained. Walker was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the 2005 Carrera GT,” the company wrote in response to the lawsuit.

(Read More…)

By on November 25, 2015

GMIgnitionAndSwitchAssembly02(1)

A federal judge Wednesday denied a request to make available communication between GM and its lawyers over certain cases involving defective ignition switches, Reuters reportedThe documents will remain secret because of attorney-client privilege, the judge wrote.

Lawsuits against GM allege that the company tried to further cover up its defective ignition switches. Those lawsuits sought to uncover documents between the automaker and its lawyers in three separate cases.

“… the case evaluations have all the hallmarks of dispassionate, sober evaluations (perhaps, in hindsight, too dispassionate and sober for their own good) by counsel of the costs and benefits of litigating the cases to their conclusion — just what one would might expect in a defense file and in the absence of a crime or fraud,” Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his ruling. (Read More…)

By on November 23, 2015

2015 Ford C-Max Energi

A court ruled Nov. 12 that a lawsuit may continue against Ford for misstating its mileage estimates of its C-MAX and Fusion hyrbid cars.

Ford attempted to dismiss the lawsuit based on its claim that the mileage estimates provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, were in part, an estimate and that “actual results may vary.” Car owners suing the automaker pointed to Ford’s media blitz that included Ryan Seacrest in Times Square with a bunch of billboards and T-shirts with the number 47 on them and “47 Challenges, 47 Days” marketing push and Facebook posts that the cars would achieve a “EPA-certified 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway ratings for a 47-mpg combined rating” — among many other 47-branded things — when the cars didn’t come anywhere close.*

*Actual mileage did vary.

“Ford implicitly recognized that its advertising campaign was misleading,” U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas wrote in the ruling. (Read More…)

By on October 22, 2015

Donnie-Brasco

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.

(Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

By on October 6, 2015

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Exterior-0051

A Volkswagen of America spokesman said Tuesday that electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars would be a “key part” of the automaker’s research and development strategy after CEO Matthias Müller told 20,000 workers in Wolfsburg that it would postpone or cancel other projects that weren’t critical to sales.

“Electrification, whether full EV, PHEV, or HEV, is a key part of our strategy long term in order to meet worldwide (greenhouse gas) targets,” a Volkswagen spokesman told TTAC on Tuesday.

In 2014, Volkswagen spent $13.5 billion on research and development — more than any other company in all sectors. However, that budget could be severely restricted as the automaker prepares to pay billions for software that cheated emissions tests.

Volkswagen could be looking for ways to not repeat history, when a 1960s lawsuit from Tatra crippled development well into the 1980s.

(Read More…)

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