The remaining bidders for the ailing Takata Corporation are insisting on a court-mediated turnaround for the airbag supplier’s operations. Takata is in the midst of selecting a financial backer after incurring billions of dollars in costs to replace tens of millions of defective airbag inflators linked to a minimum of sixteen deaths.
However, Takata has stated it would much prefer an out-of-court process for its operations to ensure the uninterrupted supply of replacement inflators. Keeping the turnaround private also would also be a way for the founding Takata family to avoid the complete obliteration of the company’s share values. (Read More…)
My supply of reader-submitted Piston Slap queries is running low! So in the coming weeks, please help re-fill the coffers. Just about anything goes! (Purchase queries go to Ask Bark.)
Email [email protected]com lest I spend the rest of my days updating everyone on my passion project, a Fox-body 1983 Continental Valentino restomod.
While you brainstorm your questions, let’s discuss headlight upgrades — because there’s a right and wrong way! (Read More…)
Automotive parts supplier Takata Corp, along with three of its former employees, were charged by federal prosecutors with concealing the deadly defect of its airbag inflators.
The devices have been subject to an unprecedentedly massive recall and have have been linked to at least 11 fatalities in the United States. Takata has agreed to plead guilty to the charges against it and will pay $1 billion in restitution. (Read More…)
Volkswagen appears to be suiting up for an impending battle. The road has been a long and difficult, but the diesel emissions scandal seems as if it’s about to begin its third and final act.
Dozens of German Volkswagen AG officials have hired criminal defense lawyers as the United States Department of Justice elevates its investigation into the company. U.S. authorities have traveled across the Atlantic to conduct additional interviews with managers and gather further evidence on VW’s plot to elude America’s emission regulations. (Read More…)
A U.S. regulator has come across another emissions-cheating device on a Volkswagen Group product. This isn’t more of the same — rather, it’s an entirely different apparatus used on vehicles until well after the company’s diesel emissions scandal became public knowledge.
This isn’t a great time for Volkswagen to be caught with its pants down for not disclosing something they were already in big trouble for. With the company trying to wrap things up with the Department of Justice, the new report from German outlet Bild am Sonntag could sour things.
I’ve noticed various new-ish cars, ranging from Kias to Lincolns, with a flash-then-steady mode on their center high-mount stop lights. Is this becoming standard? I expect it’s not federally mandated, but I can’t imagine where else it’s coming from.
More importantly, how is it being implemented? I’m thinking about grabbing one from a salvage yard in a few years.
Do investors trust Volkswagen to investigate itself and lay the appropriate blame? Not these three groups.
With the financial damage of the diesel emissions scandal now clear, three large investor groups are calling for accountability and the launch of an independent investigation, Reuters reports. (Read More…)
Ford Motor Company probably wishes it had gone with a CVT.
After weathering years of complaints about the performance of its six-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission, Australia just added to the misery with a class-action lawsuit, CarAdvice reports.
The suit, which alleges the transmissions are unsafe, concerns 2010–2014 Ford Fiesta and Focus models. (Read More…)
Tesla Motors responded quickly to a bombshell exposé on the low-paid foreign workers helping to expand the company’s California assembly plant.
The investigation by the Bay Area News Group, published in The Mercury News, detailed the hundreds of Slovenian and Croatian laborers brought into the Freemont plant on business visas last year to build a paint shop. Paid $5 an hour, safety protocol among the group was lax, work hours were long, and a serious injury ended in a workers’ compensation lawsuit.
Tesla was cleared of any wrongdoing by an accident investigator, but now the company says it has a moral responsibility to stop all unsafe and unfair work practices at its facility. (Read More…)
Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has been hit with a second lawsuit from a U.S. law firm that represents owners of diesel vehicles, despite recent evidence that could render the suit invalid.
The suit from now-familiar firm Hagens Berman accuses the German automaker of employing an emissions “defeat device,” a la Volkswagen, in its diesel vehicles, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).
The suit alleges the device must be the cause of laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests.
The Napleton Automotive Group of Illinois tread a well-worn path to its lawyers yesterday, this time filing a suit against Volkswagen for damaging its business model.
Three Volkswagen dealerships owned by Napelton filed the suit, which seeks class-action status, alleging the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal amounts to “criminal racketeering,” Automotive News has reported.
Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. have formed a go-to team tasked with drawing compensation out of the automaker while avoiding a looming barrage of dealer lawsuits.
The five-member committee was formed at a dealers-only meeting held yesterday at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, one day before U.S. dealers were expected to meet with top Volkswagen brass, Automotive News has reported.
The move is designed to head off a potential slew of lawsuits from U.S. dealers seeking reparations for sunk costs and lost revenue stemming from the automaker’s expansion push and subsequent diesel emissions scandal.
It wasn’t so clean, was it?
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against Volkswagen on March 29, claiming the automaker’s “Clean Diesel” ad campaign was a deception that tricked buyers into purchasing its supposedly eco-friendly vehicles.
By filing the complaint against Volkswagen, the FTC (which can’t levy fines) would be able to seek compensation for buyers via a federal court order.
After missing today’s deadline for a U.S. emissions fix, Volkswagen has been issued a new one, and will now face a summer trial if the date passes without a plan to cure its diesel ills.
The extension of the deadline until April 21 was issued by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who had earlier set the March 24 deadline for the embattled automaker, Reuters is reporting.
The consensus of today’s meeting in California between Volkswagen, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board was that progress had been made in reaching an agreement on how to deal with 580,000 Volkswagen diesels equipped with pollution-causing defeat devices.
Ford is doing so well, you’d be a damn fool to ever think of not investing in Ford, says Ford.
That, hiring a crop of cranky old people paid off for Dodge, Kentucky joins the let’s-sue-Volkswagen party, Honda gets a Hoosier boost, and ethanol continues to suck … after the break!