By on November 8, 2016

GTT-Front

Some California tuners are in hot water with Ford after bringing a custom Mustang to SEMA that intentionally looks like the blue oval’s flagship supercar.

That, Michigan’s historic Willow Run factory may be paving the way for the automotive future, Volkswagen is being sued by yet another state, and VW’s chairman is getting back up on the hook as German prosecutors place him back under the microscope… after the break!

GTT-rear

California tuners may face legal action from Ford

California’s Zero to 60 Design couldn’t have made their Mustang GTT’s flagrant emulation of the Ford GT’s styling cues more apparent if they tried. It’s also one letter away from being named the “Mustang GT-GT.” It’s possible that Zero to 60 had that name on its “maybe” list, but decided on GTT to avoid litigation.

Well, they might be getting sued anyway.

“We’re aware of the Zero to 60 Designs Mustang ‘GTT,'” a Ford spokesman told Carscoops. “Mustang and GT feature important design elements that uniquely and individually identify both as Ford Performance vehicles. Ford’s legal counsel is investigating how best to address the matter.”

When asked to clarify whether Ford had taken legal actions against Zero to 60 Design, the spokesperson said, “All I know is that Ford’s legal team are aware and investigating”.

While not identical, the Mustang GTT mimics the supercar about as well as bodywork alone can manage. The massive lipped grille and twin hood openings are particularly similar to the GT. Round taillights have also been added, along with a large rear diffuser, center mounted exhaust ports, and other familiar bits and bobs. The concept GTT’s logo on the company’s own website is even identical to the typeface Ford uses.

Zero to 60 Designs may consider the car a nod to Ford’s GT, but it’s not a subtle one.

Willow Run Factory

Michigan’s historic Willow Run sold for driverless testing

Since 2010, Willow Run has been 335 acres of classic Michigan industrial abandonment. Now, the historic site that produced Ford-made heavy bombers and decades of transmissions from General Motors may start paving the way for the future.

The Detroit News is reporting that the old powertrain factory has finally been purchased by developers of the proposed American Center for Mobility, at a cost of $1.2 million.

The center hopes to start construction later this year and anticipates opening for business in December 2017. Based on earlier reports, the site should offer complexity surpassing the University of Michigan’s autonomous testing course — Mcity.

“The American Center for Mobility will be the most advanced connected and automated vehicle proving ground in the world,” said John Maddox, president and CEO.

The initial proposals for the course included a high-speed loop and complex track sections that included tunnels, bridges, traffic stops, multi-block city streets, and suburban cul-de-sacs. The site would be made for use by private industry in addition to government and academic outlets. Maddox also wants Willow Run to serve as a technology hub, permitting companies to rent offices and garage space.

While the Michigan Strategic Fund has already spent $20 million for the proposed overhaul of the site, the project needs to secure additional funding to meet its estimated $80 million goal.

VW logo

Another state sues Volkswagen

Illinois is the next state to sue Volkswagen over the environmental impact of the ongoing emissions cheating scandal, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges “unauthorized impairment of vehicle air pollution control systems.”

“By installing defeat devices in the unlawful vehicles, VW rendered inoperative those vehicles’ air pollution control systems,” the lawsuit states, adding that the process violates Illinois Pollution Control Board regulations. The lawsuit was provided by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

The Chicago Tribune writes:

The lawsuit said there are more (than) 19,000 affected vehicles in Illinois.

Madigan is asking the court to, among other things, assess a penalty of up to $50,000 for each violation of a regulation deeming it unlawful for any person to cause an air-pollution control system to be inoperative, and an additional penalty of up to $10,000 for each day of each violation.

Volkswagen has already agreed to spend roughly $10 billion on consumer restitution and vehicle buybacks, $2.7 billion to help offset the impact of the excess emissions, and $2 billion more to promote clean cars. A VW spokesperson said the company “will review Illinois’ complaint and respond appropriately.”

Hans Dieter Poetsch VW

VW’s chairman Pötsch is now under scrutiny for market manipulation

Bloomberg is reporting that Volkswagen Group Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch  has become directly involved in the diesel-emissions scandal investigations.

Bloomberg writes:

German prosecutors said they had enough evidence to name (Pötsch) as the third suspect in a probe into whether Volkswagen was too slow to inform the market about the cheating. The automaker stood by the executive, who was CFO when the crisis unfolded, saying that management complied with German law and that (Pötsch) will continue to cooperate with the investigation, while the families controlling VW said they continue to back him.

Pötsch came to chair Volkswagen before the emissions cheating scandal became public knowledge. Initially able to avoid coming under scrutiny, things gradually changed for the long-time VW executive:

Just two days before the annual shareholder gathering that confirmed Poetsch in the chairman post, prosecutors opened their initial market-manipulation probe. At the time, they named Winterkorn and VW brand chief Herbert Diess and made a point of saying Pötsch was not one of the executives under investigation.

Brunswick prosecutors since then have interviewed more witnesses and analyzed additional information to conclude that the probe could be extended to Pötsch , Klaus Ziehe, a spokesman for the prosecutors, said on Monday.

[Images: Zero to 60 Designs, Volkswagen Group]

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15 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Ford Considering Legal Action Over Copycat Custom...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    Um, the Mustang GTT concept will never be mistaken for an actual Ford GT. Maybe Ford is just sore that this looks better than a regular mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Meh looks like the unholy marriage of a Mustang and Viper. Perhaps Carol Shelby is spending his time in the afterlife practicing a little spiritual possession.

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t this childish? Call it a tribute, and a judge may ask Ford: what’s your point? Still, I am curious to hear how this IP civil suit pans out. Btw, if the German attorney-general will not prosecute responsible management at VW, then the U.S. Justice Dept. should ask for extradition. Misleading shareholders about VW’s state of affairs comes down to securities fraud.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        The whole lawsuit exists to make the style go away. Costs will increase until the company can no longer support the project. Who the judge/jury might eventually rule in favor of is irrelevant, the law simply favors those who can drag out a case.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Somewhere in a Dearborn MI office building…..

    “Jehosphat, that’s an ugly car. Someone should sue the designer- …….hmm. Sue?”

    ‘Yes Mr VP?’

    “Get me legal. And a gallon of eye-bleach”

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Zero to 60 Designs needs to thank Ford for the publicity. If not for this they would have sold like 2 of them.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    US state governments’ pensions are underfunded by $1 trillion. Illinois accounts for 10% of that.
    Unrelated to the lawsuit against VW, of course.
    Two rats in a burlap sack.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    that doesn’t really look like a GT. the front looks like an unholy mash-up of Mustang and Camaro, and the rear looks like a poor copy of a Lotus.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    I’m sorry, but how can Ford sue someone for making a body kit for the Mustang? That sure looks like a Mustang unibody and roof with revised panels. They wouldn’t be able to sell it with anything other than the original Mustang VIN, anyway, so it’s a Mustang. They’ll just have to call it one in order to get Ford off their backs.

    It’s a tuned Mustang with ugly panels.

  • avatar
    brn

    “All I know is that Ford’s legal team are aware and investigating”

    Not much to base a story on.


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