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Toyota, a company that has built a reputation for reliability, certainly has a target on its back after a year filled with recall woes. In fact, things have gotten so bad for the Japanese automaker that it now ranks as the fifth most sued company in America. Perhaps more shocking is that it has nearly six times as many pending lawsuits as its nearest auto-rival (in both sales and lawsuits), General Motors.
According to information from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), Toyota is named as a defendant in 1,873 court cases, nearly twelve-times that of 2009. In total, General Motors is named in 299 cases – a significant drop from 1,817 in 2009 (possibly due to the company’s bankruptcy filing).
These numbers don’t tell the whole story, however, with PACER only listing Federal court cases. For this reason, BP (remember the oil spill) ranks very low on the list as most litigation is being handled through state courts.
Ahead of Toyota are Wells Fargo and Bank of America, while Goodyear sits in second and General Electric tops the list.
Will it ever end? Hot on the heels of the announcement by Global Vehicles that it had placed a $35 million order for U.S. spec Mahindra Pik-Ups; Mahindra has now issued a statement declaring the order ‘invalid’ and accusing Global Vehicles of theatrics and working hard at attempts to damage its reputation in the U.S.
Mahindra is also sticking fast to its claims that the contract between it and Global has expired and it is free to pursue its own channels of distribution for the trucks in the U.S. In fact, P. N. Shah, Chief Executive of Mahindra’s International Division; Farm & Automotive, stated that; ”Mahindra’s goal remains to bring its vehicles to the U.S. market, satisfying the desires of U.S. consumers and dealers alike.” Quite how they’re going to do that remains to be seen. The saga continues…
Official press release after the jump:
In the latest installment of the Mahindra/Global Vehicles Soap Opera, it appears that the first order for U.S. spec trucks, now called Pik-Ups has been placed, according to a statement released by GV.
Mahindra and Global have been battling each other in court, regarding a contract clause which stated that the former could wash its hands clean of the deal if the trucks didn’t meet U.S. EPA emissions certification. Now that they have, Mahindra still wants to rescind the contract between it and GV, but there’s evidence to suggest that the company’s argument won’t hold up in court, partly because Mahindra submitted its EPA paperwork a number of days after the June 11 deadline passed and also the fact that GV has already invested considerable effort and $100 million in setting up a distribution network for the trucks in the U.S. As a result of all this, it looks likely that Global Vehicles will retain exclusive rights to sell the trucks.
Said GV’s CEO John Perez “We trusted Mahindra when they said they wanted to cap their losses if the vehicle couldn’t be sold here. We patiently waited and accommodated Mahindra through years of delays and kept an extremely powerful distribution network intact while the factory worked through the complicated task of meeting U.S. emissions standards. We did this because we believed we were all working toward the same goals. Now Mahindra is trying to change the rules. We delivered our end of the contract, and we’re ready to get down to business.”
Although the GV/Mahindra saga is far from over, the announcement of a $35 million initial purchase order by GV, suggests that after a long period of virtual stalemate, things appear to be finally moving forward.