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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
A new class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors alleging that the recent recall crisis has tarnished the brand’s reputation enough to degrade the value of all new GM vehicles.
General Motors is being sued in a California court for allegedly concealing widespread defects in its vehicles that led to fatal accidents.
Consumer groups have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for its delay in making backup cameras mandatory by law in new vehicles.
A swath of GM dealers chose to bet the farm in the hope of keeping their franchises amid the automaker’s massive 2009 restructuring, but that decision is turning out to be a bad one for at least eight locations.
The Supreme Court today denied Korean automaker Kia’s appeal in a case dating back 11 years over the brakes in its Sophia sedans degrading too quickly.
American Honda’s lawyers are hoping to overturn the highly publicized court award to Heather Peters, who netted $9,867 after suing Honda stating that her Civic Hybrid failed to get the promised 50-mpg. As a result of her successful small claims suit, 1,700 Civic Hybrid owners have opted out of a class action settlement, presumably to take Honda to small claims court themselves.
Honda will be heading back to court on Thursday and the court will once again hear testimony from both sides in what is basically a retrial. But unlike the small claims trial, Honda has legal representation and Peters will be presenting new evidence she has discovered. Peters also renewed her law license and has already testified in the first part of the hearing with Honda’s lawyers questioning her.
The Japanese automaker is hoping the appeal will curb other Civic Hybrid owners from filing their own small claims suits similar to what Peters did successfully.
[Source: The Detroit News]
The matter, which will go to mediation on March 27, stems from a dispute between Chrysler and clothing maker Pure Detroit. The two sides have until April 3 to work it out – if not, it’s back to the courts to battle it out.
The “Imported From Detroit” slogan gained popularity after Chrysler’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial, and was followed with a line of merchandise put out by the automaker. In March 2011, Chrysler sued Pure Detroit for sales made when the clothing company put out a line of T-shirts of its own adorned with the “Imported From Detroit” slogan. Pure Detroit hit Chrysler back with a countersuit, stating that Chrysler doesn’t have a valid trademark because the phrase is geographical, descriptive and misleading.
Which company do you think is right? Should Chrysler get sole ownership of the slogan or does Pure Detroit have a valid argument? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Source: Detroit News]
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is paid to piss you off, it’s what he does best. Maybe someone should have forwarded the memo to Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.
Musk probably should have taken Top Gear’s pot shots with a laugh and kept doing business, but it’s easy to understand why he might be feeling defensive. His company keeps hitting nasty potholes in the road to success, like the “bricking” problem that apparently compromises the battery system in Tesla vehicles, a costly repair.
This Top Gear drama started back to December 2008 when the show gave a mixed review to the Tesla Roadster. Their program said the car failed to meet its advertised 200-mile range, instead only achieving 55 miles. That figure came from running it on a track where any vehicle would have less than optimal range, electric or otherwise. They also bashed the Roadster for having deficient brakes.
Brakes and range aside, it’s essential to remember that Top Gear is first and foremost an entertainment program. The episode depicted crew members pushing a “dead” roadster into a hangar, though the facts emerged during Tesla’s lawsuit. Surprise, surprise, the car wasn’t dead and the shot was used for effect.
This isn’t terribly dissimilar to the infamous Bugatti Veyron versus McLaren F1 drag race episode, where the show managed to eek out a Veyron victory, only after several F1 first-place finishes. Again, Top Gear is for show first, reporting second.
British Justice Tugendhat threw Tesla’s claims out in October, 2011, saying the company’s lawyers needed to amend their malicious falsehood claims.
The final chapter, (one would assume), in this one-way pissing match closed today. Justice Tugendhat dismissed Tesla’s revised claim which said there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that each of the Claimants [Top Gear] had intentionally and significantly misrepresented the range of the Roadster by claiming that it had a range of about 200 miles in that its true range on the Top Gear track was only 55 miles”.
Hopefully Tesla can move past this cat fight and focus more on the bricking issue at hand. Small car startups have enough problems without taking British TV bullies to court.
Check out Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussing the Top Gear episode in the video after the jump.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
She’s had it with Honda, and Heather Peters, a former lawyer, hopes her unusual legal approach will garner as much as 10 times the cash reward and potentially serious consequences for the company if others follow her lead.
Peters, unlike the hundreds of Civic Hybrid owners who joined class action suits, decided to take Honda to small claims court over her 2006 Civic Hybrid achieving sub-par mileage. The car is said to get 50 mpg, but according to Peters, her car never came close and only managed 30 mpg as the battery wore.
Her choice seemed more attractive after finding out that people taking part in the suit would probably only receive about $200 cash and a $750 to $1000 rebate incentive to buy a new Honda. She aims to be awarded the maximum $10,000 allowed as of 2012 in California small claims court.
While taking the Japanese car giant to court might seem sort of senile, Peters is far from crazy. The first fist in her corner is that she has a legal background, so she will be able to prepare a case better than your average Honda customer. Second, California small claims court doesn’t allow lawyers, so Honda will have to keep their legal crack shots at home. Third, as Richard Cupp Jr., who teaches product liability law at Pepperdine University, told the associated press, ”the judge will have a lot of discretion and the evidentiary standards are relaxed in small claims court.”
It’s true that most people probably won’t have the time, education, or energy to take Peters’ path against Honda. If she succeeds and others choose to take similar action, she estimates that it could cost Honda as much as $2 billion. For now, she’s launched a site to promote her cause: DontSettleWithHona.org.
As for her future car plans, she is willing to trade her Civic for a comparable car with a manual transmission because it’s all she trusts anymore.