Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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Autos need devices to curb child heatstroke deaths: U.S. lawmakers

Automakers could help prevent accidental deaths of small children left in hot cars by installing devices to remind drivers to check their back seats for passengers before getting out, three U.S. lawmakers sponsoring a safety measure said. The bipartisan group of lawmakers joined safety experts and parents with testimonials of personal tragedies to publicly press for a law they said would have averted many of the 800 deaths of children left in overheated cars since 1990. "It should be bipartisan, non-partisan, it should be America's legislation," Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican told a Washington press conference.

[Reuters]

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G.M. Wants to Drive the Future of Cars That Drive Themselves

The chief executive of General Motors, an automaker synonymous with Detroit, saw the future of driving not in the Motor City but on the streets of San Francisco. Mary T. Barra, a G.M. lifer who had worked her way from engineer to the top, was in the back seat of a prototype self-driving electric car as it wound its way through the city’s downtown a year ago.

[New York Times]

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Fiat, GM Suits Show Emissions Saga Unlikely To End Soon

Allegations of emissions cheating recently lobbed at Fiat Chrysler America and General Motors by regulators and consumers, along with a recent study revealing diesel vehicles in global markets produce far more emissions than expected under regulatory limits, signal the defeat-device problem will likely continue to plague the industry.

[Law360]

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One-size-fits-all not working for dealer metrics

Partner Aaron Jacoby was quoted in an Automotive Worltd article titled, "One-size-fits-all not working for dealer metrics". The article talked about how not all dealerships are created equal and judging them all by the same standards is not fair - nor is it legal in certain US states. Maryland became the most recent state to sign such legislation into law with the passing of House Bill 1120. 

[Automotive World]

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U.S. carmaker lobby wants rules of origin left intact in NAFTA talks

A powerful U.S.-based automakers group said that it favors keeping rules of origin intact in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), echoing comments from its Mexican counterpart. Under the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, rules of origin stipulate that products must meet minimum regional, or NAFTA-wide, content requirements to be tariff-free. "We believe the NAFTA rule of origin, which establishes the highest threshold of any free trade agreement the U.S. has ever negotiated, should remain intact," Annemarie Pender, spokeswoman for the Association of Global Automakers, told Reuters.

[Reuters]

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Uber admits it underpaid tens of thousands of New York City drivers

Uber admitted that it had collected tens of millions more from New York City drivers than it should have over a nearly three-year span dating back to November 2014, a critical financial oversight that led the company to pledge to reimburse “every penny,” in the latest setback for the Silicon Valley ride-hailing giant. Tens of thousands of drivers in New York City were shortchanged, Uber acknowledged, and will now collect an average of $900 each in reimbursements, which includes interest on the lost earnings. The full cost to Uber of the payouts could not be immediately learned.  

[Washington Post]

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Jury awards $256M to auto dealer in Nissan suit

Nissan says it will appeal a jury's award of more than $256 million to a California auto dealer who claimed the company put him out of business during the recession. The Orange County panel ruled in favor of Michael Kahn, who owned seven Nissan and other dealerships in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. Kahn claimed Nissan's financing arm had promised to keep his businesses afloat through 2009 but had a "secret plan" to foreclose after stripping him of assets, including his home.

[Washington Post]

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U.S. accuses Fiat Chrysler of trying to mask emissions in 100,000 vehicles

The Justice Department filed a civil complaint alleging that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles installed software designed to cheat emission controls in more than 100,000 diesel vehicles, including its popular Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicle. The lawsuit states nearly 104,000 vehicles are “equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices,” the Justice Department said in the complaint, which was filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. The complaint exposes Fiat to up to $4.6 billion in fines and covers 2014-16 model years of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickups.

[Washington Post]

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Ford ousts CEO as auto industry faces biggest transformation ever

In the latest sign that driverless cars and other revolutionary new technologies are shaking automakers to their roots, the chief executive of Ford Motor Co. just got tossed.

The replacement of Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, who had been running a new unit focused on cutting-edge transportation, is a big deal for Ford. But with the auto industry in upheaval, it’s only the opening act in a long-running drama that will roil the automakers for many years to come.

[Los Angeles Times]

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Pittsburgh Welcomed Uber’s Driverless Car Experiment. Not Anymore.

When Uber picked this former Rust Belt town as the inaugural city for its driverless car experiment, Pittsburgh played the consummate host.

“You can either put up red tape or roll out the red carpet,” Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, said in September. “If you want to be a 21st-century laboratory for technology, you put out the carpet.”

Nine months later, Pittsburgh residents and officials say Uber has not lived up to its end of the bargain. Among Uber’s perceived transgressions: The company began charging for driverless rides that were initially pitched as free. It also withdrew support from Pittsburgh’s application for a $50 million federal grant to revamp transportation. And it has not created the jobs it proposed in a struggling neighborhood that houses its autonomous car testing track.

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