By on April 11, 2019

Image: GM

A Chevrolet dealer in Chattanooga has a PR problem on its hands, and an FBI task force has a case to get to the bottom of.

Mountain View Chevrolet finds itself at the center of a bizarre story in which a disabled customer claims a salesman kidnapped him and threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t withdraw large sums of cash from local banks. (Read More…)

By on April 8, 2019

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited

A lawsuit filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles way back in 2015 has reached its conclusion. In order to temper the ire of shareholders angered by the company’s EcoDiesel blunder and earlier suspension recall controversy, FCA has agreed to hand over $110 million, closing the door on a contentious chapter of its history. (Read More…)

By on April 8, 2019

This seems like a silly public service announcement to have to make, but it’s imprudent to post videos of yourself breaking traffic laws. Beau Alan Rogel of Rankin County, Mississippi found that out the hard way after live streaming his attempt to break 180 mph in his wife’s 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

In the midst of his feat, a viewer decided to contact police and notify them that Rogel was traveling at excessive speeds, helpfully mentioning where he could be found. The video, which he reposted on YouTube, includes the moment where he is pulled over and (understandably) denies everything he had just been explaining to his audience. (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2019

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Treating Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission like a pair of squabbling kindergarteners, a federal judge handed down a message to both on Thursday. Basically, figure out your shit.

The two sides remain locked in a battle sparked by a true product of our time — tweets. The SEC claims Musk’s recent use of Twitter violates the conditions set out in the settlement reached between the regulator and Tesla last year, a settlement resulting from a lawsuit over … tweets.

“Put your reasonableness pants on,” Judge Alison Nathan told the two parties in a New York City federal court yesterday. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2019

Carlos Ghosn

Ousted Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who was also dropped as Nissan and Mitsubishi chairman following his November arrest, seemed to appear on Twitter Wednesday, promising to give readers the straight dope on his situation.

“I’m getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening,” the inaugural tweet of the verified account stated. “Press conference on Thursday, April 11.”

Well, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Japanese authorities showed up at Ghosn Tokyo residence last night to re-arrest the fallen industry icon. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2019

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

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.  (Read More…)

By on March 15, 2019

tdiengine

While three and a half years have passed since the Volkswagen diesel scandal broke, its reverberations are still being felt. For the automaker turned green soothsayer, this usually comes with financial hardship attached, plus the requisite regurgitation of a past VW would like to see forgotten.

The latest salvo launched at VW over its emissions-rigged cars comes from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is suing the company — as well as its former CEO, Martin Winterkorn — for the “massive fraud” it says VW perpetrated on investors. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2019

Carlos Ghosn

Former Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has left a Tokyo prison after posting bail to the tune of $8.9 million. His 108-day detention ended with the industry titan being escorted out out the building while wearing a disguise that entailed a cap, surgical mask, glasses, and workman’s clothes.

Ghosn left the Tokyo Detention House around 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon, already beset by camera crews. According to reports, the former auto executive was steered away from a black van and pushed into a small Suzuki befitting his disguise — despite its failure to fool the media. He’s now in a secret, court-appointed residence where he’ll be under constant surveillance as he attempts to prepare his next move.

“I am also grateful to the NGOs and human rights activists in Japan and around the world who fight for the cause of presumption of innocence and a fair trial,” Ghosn said prior to his release in a statement. “I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.” (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2019

Carlos Ghosn - Titan intro - Image: Nissan

In the auto realm, the term “bailout” doesn’t normally refer to the actual granting of bail, but Renault and alliance partner Nissan wasn’t in need of outside assistance — their former boss was.

After multiple attempts to secure release from a Tokyo detention center met with failure, Carlos Ghosn, arrested on suspicion of financial misconduct on Nov. 19, could gain limited freedom as early as Wednesday. Late Monday, word came that a Tokyo court finally granted bail to the former Renault CEO and Nissan chairman.

The high-flying industry titan who once rented the palace of Versailles for his wedding (using company funds, since paid back) has been behind bars for over 100 days. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2019

Image: Ford

Ford’s Fusion sedan has found itself in the headlines for illicit cross-border shipments before, and you know what they say about history repeating.

Regarded as the delivery vehicle of choice after caches of Mexican marijuana were found in U.S.-market models built at Ford’s Hermosillo plant, the sedan’s unlikely double life continues apace. Cartel operatives continue using the model in their smuggling operation, recently shipping a different type of drug to a country with absolutely no use for extra marijuana. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2019

(One of the above items is not like the other…)

Sometimes the most innocent actions can get you in trouble with the law, like the Maryland mother accused of using opiates because she ate a poppy seed bagel the morning she gave birth. A Connecticut man is challenging his conviction on a charge of distracted driving, claiming he was eating a McDonalds hash brown, not talking on his cellphone. No, this isn’t anything like Dan White’s supposed Twinkie Defense — the guy sounds like he has a legitimate case.

On April 11, 2018, Jason Stiber was pulled over in Westport. Westport PD Corporal Shawn Wong alleged that Stiber was talking on his cellphone while driving. Wong later told a magistrate that Stiber was holding a phone near his face and that his lips were moving. Stiber said the officer mistook his food for a phone. The magistrate apparently believed that Wong was right (sorry, I had to), and convicted Stiber of distracted driving, fining him $300. (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2019

While former Renault CEO (and ex-Nissan chairman) Carlos Ghosn is no longer living the high life, this wasn’t always the case. After performing an audit in the wake of Ghosn’s Nov. 19 arrest, Renault stumbled upon an improper use of a very exclusive venue, paid for with company sponsorship funds.

The event was Ghosn’s 2016 wedding, and the venue was France’s Chateau de Versailles — an opulent 2,300-room palace once home to kings and Napoleon. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2019


Depending who you ask, the November arrest of disgraced auto executive Carlos Ghosn was either swift justice or a coup d’etat — with some help from the Japanese government. Re-arrested in December and held ever since without bail, Ghosn faces breach of trust charges alleging the exec covered losses incurred through foreign exchanges with Nissan’s funds between 2008 and 2012. Those losses add up to $16.6 million, according to the prosecution. He’s also cited for misrepresenting his income.

However, Ghosn doesn’t see things that way. On Wednesday, he told the Nikkei business daily that he believed the charges against him were motivated by Nissan executives opposed to further integration with its French alliance partner, Renault SA. “All the evidence is with Nissan and Nissan forbids all employees to talk to me,” he elaborated. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2019

Carlos Ghosn

As the Carlos Ghosn saga slowly crawls its way towards a trial, the former Nissan and Mitsubishi chairman might soon add another “former” to his list of descriptors. In an effort to mend a rift in the automotive alliance, Renault’s board has scheduled an emergency meeting for Thursday, during which the pressure will be on to oust Ghosn as the automaker’s chairman and CEO.

As he cools his heels in jail, Ghosn isn’t in a position to offer much resistance to any decision rendered by the board. The exec has reportedly offered to resign. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2019

Carlos Ghosn Rogue Introduction - Image: Nissan

For detained industry titan Carlos Ghosn, getting out of the slammer has thus far proven an insurmountable challenge. Interned in a Tokyo jail since his Nov. 19 arrest, the Renault CEO and former Nissan chairman has repeatedly seen his bail appeals fall on deaf ears, with past indictments squashing previous hopes for release.

On Tuesday, a Tokyo judge denied his most recent appeal, despite Ghosn offering up nearly everything in return. (Read More…)

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