By on June 29, 2020

General Motors Renaissance Center

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. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2020

Struck by a cyber attack on its global computer network that temporarily knocked out a few factories and most of its customer service centers, Honda is reporting that things are gradually returning to normal.

“Work is being undertaken to minimize the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.

Impacted facilities are supposedly already in decent shape, and the business hopes to move past this in short order. But what actually happened?  (Read More…)

By on June 9, 2020

2019 Honda Accord Touring white - Image: Honda

Production of certain Honda vehicles ran into another roadblock on Monday, as the automaker claims it was the victim of a cyber attack.

Reuters reports that production ceased at many of Honda’s manufacturing facilities in the wake of the suspected attack out of fear that quality control processes may have been compromised. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2020

UAW

Gary Jones, the former United Auto Workers president who stepped down last November amid growing suspicion of wrongdoing, pleaded guilty Wednesday to involvement in a racketeering scheme that saw UAW officials soak themselves in funds earmarked for workers.

Jones is the biggest fish thus far caught in a wide net cast by federal investigators — a net that’s captured nearly a dozen current or former UAW execs with their hands in the till. In the former UAW prez’s case, more than a million dollars’ worth of union dues flowed not into training programs or other benefits, but into lavish living and high-priced toys.

Will Jones see a lengthy term in the clink, you ask? What do you think? (Read More…)

By on May 27, 2020

In the millimetre-deep world of online sociopolitical commentary, the United States is portrayed as a lawless land of heartless thugs and capitalist greed. Its neighbor to the north, on the other hand, is often pictured as a doe-eyed innocent whose heart is too inherently pure for any wrongdoing. A superficial take, for sure, and certainly one that didn’t take Ontario’s towing industry into account.

North of Lake Erie and Ontario, around the small, idyllic hamlet of Toronto, police just laid nearly 200 charges against tow truck operators who they say waged a violent, multi-year war against each other. What started out as simple rivalry between tow companies devolved into a full-scale conflict that boasted every ingredient of organized crime: guns, drugs, money, intimidation, arson, and murder.

Dozens more arrests are expected. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2020

Authorities arrested a former U.S. special forces member and his son in Massachusetts Wednesday, accusing them of helping former Renault and Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escape from Japanese justice. Just after Christmas, Ghosn, under house arrest awaiting trial for financial crimes, turned up in the safe country of Lebanon following a complex and hazy escape plan.

Such a plan was beyond the abilities of Ghosn to pull off on his own, but it seems just such an extraction was Michael Taylor’s specialty. Taylor, 59, a former Green Beret, was arrested along with his 27-year-old son Peter. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2020

UAW

Former United Auto Workers President Gary Jones was arraigned via video link yesterday, catapulting the disgraced union boss back into the headlines two months after his arrest on charges of embezzlement, racketeering, and defrauding the U.S. government.

During a videoconference held by the U.S. District Court in Detroit, Jones’ attorney entered a not-guilty plea for his client, though the former UAW boss is expected to plead guilty in June. The manner in which Jones was charged gives every indication a plea deal is in the works, with Jones’ assistance in fingering co-conspirators offered in exchange for a reduced sentence. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2020

Ontario Provincial Police, via Twitter

A finely tuned German road machine is always seeking to influence its driver. Prodding the individual to let down their defenses, throw caution to the wind, and open ‘er up.

Make any road your Autobahn. Feel alive, if only for once in your pathetic, stinking life, the German car whispers…

And yet, despite the supercar-fighting prowess instilled into many Mercedes-AMG products, you can’t blame the car or the manufacturer once Johnny Law catches up to you. Especially when you’re a teenager clocked going 191 mph in dad’s C63. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2020

Remember, long ago, when former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn filled headlines, rather than a virus? Good times. And it seems they’re still good times for Ghosn, whose Bond-like pre-New Year’s escape from Japanese authorities via chartered jets and a musical instrument case delivered him to the relative safety of Lebanon. Warrants are out, but the country’s lack of an extradition agreement with Japan works heavily in the fallen exec’s favor.

While Ghosn, arrested in Tokyo in November of 2018 on suspicion of financial misdealings, may have managed to side-step what he claims was an orchestrated legal hit job, the same can’t be said of the crews of the private jets that shuttled him to Beirut. (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2020

UAW

Federal authorities have charged former United Auto Workers President Gary Jones with embezzling more than $1 million of union funds.

It’s the latest round of charges and the highest-profile target thus far in the ongoing investigation into corruption among the union’s upper ranks. A criminal information reveals Jones, who resigned as president last November, plans to plead guilty and cooperate with federal investigators.

Three of Jones’ former aides, all of whom were swept up in the corruption probe, provided assistance that led to today’s charges. The former UAW boss was one of several top execs who prosecutors say diverted union funds towards lavish living and toys. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2020

Japanese Deputy Justice Minister Hiroyuki Yoshiie reportedly traveled to Lebanon this past weekend in an attempt to convince Carlos Ghosn to give up his life on the lam and head back to Tokyo to stand trial. Considering the defamed automotive executive fled the country because he was positively convinced this would end in a conviction, we probably won’t need to issue any follow-up reports about how the meeting ended.

Ghosn has repeatedly stressed his belief that Japan aided Nissan in ousting him from the company and has no interest in giving him a fair trial — calling it a “hostage justice” system.

Of course, all the real negotiating will be done by proxy through Lebanese Justice Minister Albert Serhan, with the pair scheduled to meet on Monday. Ghosn won’t actually be in attendance, but you had better believe he’ll be interested in the play-by-play recap. With his mind already made up on the matter, Japan will need to focus on persuading Serhan.  (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI brown

While it absolutely pales in comparison to the fines levied in the United States, Volkswagen will still have to fork over a pile to appease the Canadians.

This week, the automaker pleaded guilty to 60 charges relating to its deception of regulators and consumers with emissions-rigged diesel vehicles. While $196.5 million sounds like small potatoes in this day and age, it happens to be the largest monetary fine for an environmental crime in the country’s history. (Read More…)

By on January 14, 2020

Passat TDI engine, Picture Courtesy of Volkswagen

The fallout from a scandal that broke in September 2015 after percolating for years has spilled over into the new decade. German prosecutors have laid charges against six Volkswagen employees whom they claim played a role in deceiving regulators and the public.

While the vehicles involved in the diesel emissions scandal have either been fixed or crushed, Germany’s still marching ahead with its investigation into the matter, seeking out those who helped fool the world into believing the brand’s “clean diesel” technology was legit. (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2020

Carlos Ghosn‘s daring escape from the physical boundaries of the Japanese legal system has already been entered into the annals of automotive history and filed under “legendary” status. Guilty or not, the former Nissan executive outdid most Hollywood heist movies by sneaking out of the country while still under government supervision. Nobody in the media can help themselves from discussing it, not even this outlet.

However, he’s far from being free. He’s still wanted in Japan for alleged financial misconduct and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has issued a Red Notice — which is a global bulletin for authorities to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. Hopefully he’s famous enough for cops to identify from memory, as Interpol neglected to issue an accompanying photograph of the man(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2020

Former Renault and Nissan boss and current fugitive from Japanese justice Carlos Ghosn said he’d open up in front of the cameras, and boy, did he ever. After discussing what he says was brutal confinement and “injustice” at the hands of Japanese officials, as well as the motivation behind the alleged “plot” to oust him from his Nissan chairman position, Ghosn meandered into other topics of interest.

Clearly, the former auto titan wishes nothing but the worst for the company he once chaired. (Read More…)

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