TTAC News Round-up: Don't Leave Europe Out of the Party, Bizarre End To GM Lawsuit, and 2015's Recall-mania

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.

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  • NickS NickS on Jan 22, 2016

    VWs Goodwill Package was obviously a nice gesture for US and CDN owners but it does zero to solve the problem itself. Did all those who took advantage of it use it to trade in their non-compliant TDI with a compliant vehicle? Did it do anything to stanch plummeting sales? Did it cover the loss of value for those TDI owners who had to sell or trade-in? Did it mollify some owners enough to opt-out of class-action lawsuits? Does it help VW in the inevitable class-action settlement negotiations, or other legal cases that they offered free money to owners no strings attached? Unless VW has some solid data to indicate a multiplier benefit for the GP it is a PR gimmick. VW bungled the GP by making a nice gesture in some regions but not others. They are messaging that some regions are more worthy of goodwill. This creates world-wide PR problems that politicians can exploit. It's all peanuts for VAG cash-wise, but it's also a distraction from the real problem. They don't *have to* offer any free money in any region in legal terms. But, by law, they do have to offer differing solutions and programs to comply with their legal and regulatory troubles in different regions. They haven't solved the one thing they absolutely HAVE TO do in every region (in theory at least). I don't see TDI owners giving up with a free cookie and a pat on the head, or regulators seeing this as some sort of redeeming gesture.

    • VoGo VoGo on Jan 22, 2016

      They call their package "Good Will"? I like it. Reminds me of a Matt Damon movie.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Jan 22, 2016

    Wait? You mean people commit perjury and fraud when they smell blood in the water and a potential big day in court? Shocked I tell you! SHOCKED!!!

  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.
  • Dukeisduke If these were built in the US, they'd probably be plagued with recalls, like everything else they make now. It's just as well they don't bring them here.I've owned one Ford, a '95 F-150 (drove it for 17 years and 214k miles) and it was fantastic. But you couldn't run fast enough to buy another Ford. Quality used to be Job 1; now it's an afterthought.
  • Dukeisduke "side-to-side taillights""Across-the-border" is the phrase you're looking for - it's what Ford called the taillights on the '67-'68 and '70-'71 Thunderbirds.
  • 28-Cars-Later Pretty sure its the next gen Fusion, which did manage 110K sales in 2020 USDM but that was roughly 66% less than 306K it sold in 2013. If 100K units is the expected high water mark I can understand why resources went elsewhere... though Mach-E can't even do half that and its hyped like the Second Coming so maybe there was a missed opportunity after all?
  • Kcflyer Laughing inside at the "300 mile range when it's warm" line. Can you imagine if ICE vehicles were this comprised? What a sick joke the green agenda is.