A report by the Washington Post is detailing the lawsuit being brought against Tesla by a worker at its Fremont factory. Jessica Barraza, who has been working as a production associate on the Model 3, alleges a string of sexual harassment incidents suffered while working at the California automaker.
Tesla is being sued in California by an owner that’s claiming the automaker broke its promise of a lifetime of free charging after it started imposing fees upon people who allowed their cars to sit at stations for too long. For those of you that don’t recall, Tesla began rolling out its Supercharger network in 2012 and promised unlimited free charging as a way to entice early adopters. While it doesn’t pertain to all vehicles and has existed in various incarnations, gratis electricity was available on most properly equipped Model S and Model X purchased by 2016. But the deal has existed in various incarnations through 2020 and has been confusing customers almost as much as the apparently bogus self-driving suite.
As the brand became more popular, you’d start seeing Tesla owners populating Supercharging stations in greater numbers and chattering about their interests. Unfortunately, those extended diatribes on the merits of TEDx and spending a fortune on minimalist interior home design resulted in stations being occupied but going unused. To discourage this Tesla began imposing fines in 2016, noting that it hoped never to make money on the updated arrangement.
General Motors desperately wants to reopen a case dismissed last month by a federal judge, but Fiat Chrysler’s having none of it.
The racketeering lawsuit filed by GM against its crosstown rival alleged that FCA secured unfair labor advantages over GM via bribed UAW officials, with the automaker claiming last week that it possesses new evidence capable of convicting its automotive foe. A number of offshore bank accounts fueled the bribery effort, GM claims, with the automaker’s court filing accusing former UAW Vice President (and ex-GM board member) Joe Ashton of being a paid mole.
Gripping stuff, but FCA says it’s seen this movie before — and it’s a stinker.
The coronavirus pandemic and waves of protests may have captured much of the nation’s attention, but holdovers from the Before Times remain. Among them, General Motors’s racketeering lawsuit against rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Remember that?
GM claims FCA, with the help of corrupt UAW officials, hammered out mutually beneficial labor deals that gave the Italian-American automaker an unfair edge over its competition. After appealing a judge’s ruling last week, GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, will now be able to attend a court-ordered meeting with FCA CEO Mike Manley with legal representation in tow.
Oh, to be a fly on that wall.
Did Ford rip off someone else’s playlist? The answer to this question will emerge from a courtroom, now that the owner of a vast digital music catalog has filed a lawsuit against the automaker.
The copyright infringement suit, filed late last week, accuses Ford of improperly using 54 songs in its marketing materials over the span of several years.
Fiat Chrysler wants to see General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit dismissed, but the automaker’s crosstown rival isn’t in a charitable mood.
GM contends that bribery of United Auto Workers officials by FCA over years of contract talks left that automaker sitting pretty, with extra labor costs dumped on its Detroit competitors. While FCA claims GM can’t prove it’s a victim, The General says otherwise.
German consumer group VZBV has reached an agreement in its class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the use of illegal software intended to cheat emissions testing. The settlement amounts to 830 million euros (roughly $912 million USD). While not nearly as sizable as what U.S. customers received in their settlement, it’s what VW believes its European customers deserved. Citing a breakdown in negotiations with VZBV earlier this year, the automaker said it was willing to offer €830 million and wasn’t interested in shelling out any extra for litigation attorneys who allegedly wanted €50 million for handling the case.
The manufacturer seems to have gotten its way, though we doubt VW considers shelling out another billion to handle a five-year-old scandal a major victory.
A long-standing legal battle pitting Tesla against the state of Michigan has finally been resolved. It was announced Wednesday that the automaker’s 2016 suit against the state, which forbids the direct-sales model employed by Tesla, ended in a settlement a day earlier.
The result? A way for Michigan residents to own and conveniently service a Tesla in the notoriously protectionist state.
As a terrible year draws to a close, Nissan can’t seem to put its bad luck behind it. In a case of “the hits keep on coming”, the automaker’s vice chief operating officer, Jun Seki, announced his departure from the company less than a month after taking on the position.
Seki, once a candidate for the CEO chair, was tasked with helping turn around the struggling company in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal and concurrent sales plunge. At the same time, an American dealer group is suing Nissan over alleged Ghosn-era financial misdealings.
A merry Christmas it was not.
Sometimes the little guy wins.
Elon Musk, founder of a rocket ship company and CEO of a rising automobile company/cult, left a federal courtroom on Friday more emboldened than ever to say whatever he wants. A unanimous verdict handed down by the jury declared that calling an unknown British diver “pedo guy” on Twitter did not constitute defamation, thus allowing Musk, who has 30 million followers on the social media platform, to sidestep $190 million in damages.
Reports of alarming oscillations transmitted through the steering wheels of various Jeep Wranglers started landing on the NHTSA’s lap last year, years after off-road enthusiasts began complaining of the same issue. A product of a solid front axle, higher speeds, and an unexpected jolt — like hitting a bump in the road — the so-called “death wobble” sparked a class-action lawsuit that alleges Jeep’s Wrangler boasts an inherently unsafe axle and suspension design.
Now Fiat Chrysler says it has a solution to the wobble, with notifications headed to owners’ mailboxes from coast to coast. Will the supposed fix serve to pour cold water over the lawsuit? At this point, it doesn’t seem so.
Reid Bigland, head of Ram Trucks and the man in charge of sales reporting at FCA, recently filed a whistleblower lawsuit against FCA US LLC for significantly cutting his pay after he talked to the SEC reguarding an investigation into the sales reporting practices of the company. That investigation ultimately led Fiat Chrysler to change the way they report sales and acknowledge that they inaccurately reported them in the past.
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, FCA filed a countersuit claiming that Bigland isn’t eligible for whistleblower status on the law.
The new Ford Ranger only went on sale in January, but the midsize pickup is already the focus of a class-action lawsuit. The complaint, filed earlier this week, alleges the Blue Oval “deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing in order to report that its vehicles used less fuel and emitted less pollution than they actually did.”
Them’s fightin’ words, especially in the post-Dieselgate era. It also doesn’t help that Ford was forced to lower its fuel economy ratings on six models and dole out compensation to their drivers about five years ago. Is it deja vu all over again? Well, not quite.
A legal battle waged since 2016 ended with a historic win for Jaguar Land Rover on Friday. In 2015, China’s Jiangling Motor Corporation debuted the Landwind X7, a compact crossover that looked a lot like the Range Rover Evoque. Okay, not “a lot” — the near was damn near identical, but priced well below the Brit. (That’s a refreshed 2018 X7 you see above; the first was even closer to its muse.)
The Evoque’s doppelganger wasn’t a unique phenomenon, either. Chinese copycat vehicles had become a scourge for foreign automakers operating in that market, and, based on past cases, few expected JLR’s lawsuit to get much traction in the Chinese courts. They were wrong.
There’s no shortage of distractions coming out of Tesla to take the focus away from a smoldering legal battle between the automaker and its favorite foe, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC, however, isn’t easily led astray by retail store turmoil and the promise of a crossover with no home. The regulator has stepped up its efforts to see Tesla CEO Elon Musk held in contempt of court for violating an earlier settlement agreement. At the root of the two contempt orders, the latest filed on Monday, is the source of all evil in today’s world: social media.