Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
Industry Interests
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BMW will soon turn your 5 Series into a surveillance device

More and more automakers are adding multiple exterior cameras to their vehicles. Using some software, these cameras can create a top-down view of the vehicle, which is quite useful for parking or other close-quarters maneuvers. But BMW is about to follow in Cadillac's footsteps and take it one step further with Remote View 3D.

[CNET]

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Industry Interests, Litigation
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GM cleared in second verdict over crash blamed on ignition switch

A Texas jury said a General Motors Co ignition switch was not to blame for a fatal 2011 crash, according to a statement from the company. The verdict in Harris County, Texas, is the second in favor of GM this year in a lawsuit over a recalled ignition switch that has been linked to nearly 400 injuries and deaths. Plaintiff Zachary Stevens claimed a defective switch caused him to lose control of his 2007 Saturn Sky and crash into another vehicle, killing the other driver.

[Reuters]

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Industry Interests
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Volkswagen to spend at least $1.2 billion to compensate U.S. dealers: sources

Volkswagen AG has agreed to spend more than $1.2 billion to compensate its 650 U.S. dealers for their losses from the German automaker's diesel emissions scandal, two sources briefed on the matter said. The company and a lawyer for VW dealers announced a tentative settlement at a court hearing in San Francisco, but declined to disclose the amount. The settlement, which followed talks that began in May, came as a judge ordered VW to move quickly to decide whether to fix or buy back 85,000 3.0 liter luxury vehicles with polluting engines. 

[Reuters]

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Industry Interests
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Amazon launches Amazon Vehicles to help car buyers

Amazon.com on Thursday launched Amazon Vehicles, an online platform for users to research on cars, auto parts and accessories. The platform will include specifications, images and reviews on Amazon.com for a large number of car models, ranging from Tesla Motors' 2014 Model S to the iconic Ford Mustang 1965. Amazon Vehicles would be an extension of the existing Amazon Automotive store, the company said.

[Reuters]

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Industry Interests
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State Senate to hold hearing on self-driving car laws

A Michigan Senate committee will hold a public hearing next week on a package of sweeping autonomous vehicle bills that already have the support of several automakers, suppliers and government officials. The laws, among other things, would allow self-driving cars on any Michigan road without a driver behind the wheel. Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, who chairs the committee, said it is working quickly and hopes to vote the package out of committee first, and then the Senate by early September.

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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BREAKING: Michelin, Takata Win $80M Rollover Crash Suit In Fla. Trial

A Florida jury on Wednesday afternoon cleared Michelin and Takata in an $80 million suit that alleged a defective tire and seatbelt caused catastrophic injuries in a 2009 rollover crash of a Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Following a two-month trial, the jury found in favor of Michelin North America Inc. and Takata Corp. in Kiara Dukes' suit claiming that her accident was caused by a defective tire. She had also alleged that her Takata seatbelt unlatched and caused her to fly out the car during the crash. The jury unanimously ruled Wednesday that neither Dukes nor co-plaintiff Brandon Ellis was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

[Law360]

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Industry Interests
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Record car leasing could rise even higher

Consumers are leasing nearly one of every three new cars manufactured in the U.S. — record levels that are keeping industry sales at all-time highs. Leasing accounted for more than 31 percent of new car transactions in the first half of 2016, according to the latest available data from Experian Automotive. Once reserved mainly for luxury vehicles, leasing of mainstream vehicles has taken off.

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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Study: automatic brakes not guaranteed to stop cars

Automatic braking systems that will soon be standard on all U.S. vehicles are not guaranteed to bring cars to a full stop, according to new testing conducted by the AAA Auto Club. The Heathrow, Florida-based organization found in a test of five 2016 model-year vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems that self-braking systems that are designed to prevent crashes reduce the speed of cars by 79 percent, while automatic braking systems that are intended to lessen the impact of accidents only slow cars by 40 percent. John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said the findings show automatic braking systems will not replace the need for drivers to remain aware behind the wheel.

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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Lamborghini sees worldwide sales doubling by 2019 after SUV launch

Luxury automaker Lamborghini expects to at least double production to 7,000 vehicles a year by 2019 once it rolls out a new SUV, but it will not lose its focus on making sports cars, Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali said. Domenicali told Reuters the company plans to cap yearly production of its supercars at 3,500. He also expects sport-utility vehicle production will be at least as high but could be higher depending on demand.

[Reuters]

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Industry Interests
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VW sees car output back to normal after supplier deal

Volkswagen said production of cars at its German plants should be back to normal by August 29th after it resolved a dispute with parts suppliers over contract terms. The dispute with suppliers Car Trim and ES Automobilguss, which had stopped deliveries of seat covers and cast iron parts for gearboxes, had threatened to undermine Volkswagen's recovery from its diesel emissions scandal. VW and the two suppliers resolved the dispute affecting 28,000 workers at six of VW's 10 German factories, after Europe's largest automaker halted production of the top-selling Golf and Passat models as well as assembly of engines, gearboxes and emissions systems.

[Reuters]

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