Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive

Industry Interests

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NHTSA reconsidering maximum fuel efficiency penalties

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is indefinitely delaying the institution of higher maximum penalties for automakers who don’t meet fuel efficiency standards as the agency seeks further comment on the proposed change, according to two notices released. A final rule that would’ve increased the maximum penalty for exceeding Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards from $5.50 to $14 per 10th of a mile per gallon was due to take effect, but the NHTSA opted to hold off on implementing the change because it hadn’t adequately considered “all of the relevant issues.” Those issues included the possible economic consequences of increasing CAFE penalties by possibly $1 billion per year, the agency said.

[Law360]

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Neomi Rao, the Scholar Who Will Help Lead Trump’s Regulatory Overhaul

Neomi Rao is expected to run an obscure but powerful office at the heart of President Trump’s plan to reshape government rules.

[New York Times]

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Waymo drops most patent claims in car tech fight with Uber

Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car division, dropped three of four patent-infringement claims in its lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. over the startup’s autonomous vehicle program.  Waymo’s decision to include patent claims in its complaint against Uber was a surprise move for Google parent Alphabet, which normally prides itself on limiting patent fights. The bulk of Waymo’s case is not over patents, but trade secrets.

[Bloomberg]

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Porsche and Audi SUV recall may spread to more car manufacturers

Faulty fuel pump parts that have spurred U.S. recalls of more than 450,000 SUVs by Volkswagen AG and its Porsche and Audi brands were supplied to 13 other automakers and suppliers, German auto-parts maker Continental AG told U.S. regulators.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now probing whether vehicles and parts sold by those other companies also contain defective fuel pump flanges from Continental, which can crack and cause a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire, according to a document posted on NHTSA’s website. In a NHTSA filing made public, Continental said it also sold the potentially defective parts to automakers including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover.

[Bloomberg]

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Takata Ch. 11 gets committee with personal injury victims

Takata’s Chapter 11 case had an official committee appointed that includes personal injury victims of the defective airbag inflators that drove the company into bankruptcy, giving such claimants a rare and powerful voice in the proceedings.  The U.S. Trustee’s Office, which appoints official committees in Chapter 11 cases, put together a committee of unsecured tort claimant creditors consisting of seven individuals believed to have been injured by defective Takata airbags linked to at least 11 deaths, and which spurred the largest auto recall in U.S. history.  One of the committee’s members, Alexander Bowers, released a statement saying he and the others on the panel asked for the formation because they were concerned they would not have the representation to which they're entitled in the bankruptcy case.

[Law360]

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Tesla third-quarter deliveries to include 3,500 vehicles in transit

Tesla Inc. said current-quarter deliveries would include about 3,500 vehicles that were in transit to customers at the end of the second quarter, on a day the electric-car maker's first Model 3 rolls off the assembly line.  The company said it delivered about 47,100 electric sedans and SUVs in the first half of 2017, at the lower end of its own forecasts, putting pressure on the company's shares.  Tesla had then not provided details on the number of vehicles in transit.

[Reuters]

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Ford has record June sales in China

Sales in the U.S. slumped last month for Ford Motor Co. and most other automakers, but the Dearborn-based automaker’s Chinese sales grew 15 percent in June.  Ford and its Chinese joint ventures sold 100,561 vehicles there in June, the best-ever sales for that month. The company sold 537,522 vehicles there in the first half of the year, down 7 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

[Detroit News]

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Ex-Audi manager faces U.S. charges over VW diesel emissions

A former Audi AG manager is being charged with fraud by the Justice Department for his alleged role in helping Volkswagen AG skirt U.S. emissions standards, a person familiar with the matter said. Giovanni Pamio is facing charges of conspiracy, fraud and violating the Clean Air Act in a criminal complaint filed in Detroit, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter hasn't been made public. Pamio is the eighth person charged in the U.S. case, which has cost Volkswagen more than $24 billion in government penalties and owner restitution. 

[Automotive News]

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Toyota turns to rental lots for lift in slowing market

As automakers in the U.S. struggle to keep selling new cars to American consumers at a record clip, Toyota Motor Corp. plans to turn to rental car companies and other fleet operators for a boost. Toyota will nearly match last year's total sales to fleet customers, which means the company has some catching up to do. Deliveries to rental car companies and other fleets were down by about 20 percent during the first six months of the year, according to Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota's North American operations.

[Automotive News]

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GM tops Tesla as most valuable carmaker in U.S.

After three months as the nation’s most valuable automaker, a bad week in an otherwise stellar year has knocked Tesla from the top perch. Tesla’s growth remains stellar, with shares soaring close to 50 percent this year, twice that at General Motors Co., which retook the spot. Ford Motor Co. has actually fallen in value this year.

[Detroit News]

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