Archive for the ‘Lawsuits/Legal’ Category

SEC Says Musk’s Response to Lawsuit “Borders on the Ridiculous”

Regulators tell court Tesla CEO failed to clear a single tweet with automaker per settlement.

by on Mar.19, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shown during last week's unveiling of the new Model Y.

Federal regulators have shot back at Tesla CEO Elon Musk in their battle over a contempt-of-court lawsuit, claiming the 47-year-old executive’s legal argument “borders on the ridiculous.”

The case stems from a tweet Musk filed last month declaring that Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles this year. The Securities and Exchange Commission considered that “material” guidance which, under terms of a separate case last year, required the CEO to first get the approval of the company. But, the SEC said in a new filing, Musk has not cleared a single tweet with Tesla as he had agreed to.

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The lawsuit is being heard by U.S. Judge Alison Nathan who could hold Musk in contempt and levy fine or other forms of punishment. The Tesla executive was already forced to relinquish his post as chairman and could now be removed as the automaker’s chief executive officer.

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Former UAW VP Jewell Charged by Feds in FCA-UAW Scandal

He's the highest ranking UAW official charged.

by on Mar.18, 2019

Norwood Jewell, left, is the highest ranking UAW official to be charged in the ongoing investigation into the theft of UAW-FCA training funds.

Just days after rallying the troops in Detroit for the upcoming contract negotiations, the UAW received another black eye as former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell was charged Monday by federal prosecutors for violating the Labor Management Relations Act.

Jewell, according to court documents, allegedly received more than $40,000 in travel, lodging and meals between 2014 and 2016 from people working for Fiat Chrysler.

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He is the latest in a string of FCA and UAW executives and family members who have been indicted or convicted in the FBI investigation. Representatives from the FBI and the UAW have been available for comment. (more…)

SEC Prepping Response to Musk Over Tweet Dispute

Tesla CEO claims agency wants to restrict his 1st Amendment rights.

by on Mar.13, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized his distaste for the SEC during an interview on "60 Minutes."

A federal judge has given the SEC permission to fire the next shot in an ongoing battle that could determine not only whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk can continue tweeting about company business but whether he may face new penalties for allegedly violating terms of a fraud settlement.

The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Musk of improperly publishing a tweet on February 19th outlining Tesla’s 2019 production plans. In technical terms, the agency referred to it as a “material” statement, one that could impact the company’s stock price. Musk later revised the tweet and then asserted that the information had been previously announced, anyway.

Beyond the Headlines!

The latest in an ongoing battle between securities regulators and the 47-year-old executive could have a significant impact if the courts agree with the SEC that last month’s tweet violated an agreement aimed at settling the fraud settlement stemming from Musk’s proposed plan to take Tesla private. He not only paid a fine but agreed to run material comments by the automaker’s legal team before posting them. As part of last year’s settlement, Musk was forced to relinquish his position as Tesla chairman. He could now face penalties including his removal from the CEO’s job, as well.

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Tokyo Court Grants Ghosn Bail – But Move Under Appeal

Former Nissan chief could soon leave detention for first time in nearly four months.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Carlos Ghosn was a traditional fixture at the Geneva Motor Show but is still behind bars as the 2019 event gets underway.

A Japanese court has finally approved bail for former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, potentially opening the door for him to step out of the Tokyo Detention Center for the first time since his arrest on charges of corruption on November 19.

But the release of the 64-year-old executive was delayed pending an appeal by prosecutors who had repeatedly blocked Ghosn’s bid for bail, alleging he was a flight risk and that he might use his freedom to tamper with evidence.

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This marked the third bid for Ghosn’s release and comes just weeks after the once high-flying executive changed his legal team, turning to Junichiro Hironaka, a lawyer renowned for his ability to clear defendants in a country where prosecutors win over 90% of their cases. Hironaka had proposed to the Tokyo District Court ways to ensure Ghosn would comply with the requirements set by the court.

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Volvo to Limit Speed of All Future Models to 112 MPH

Move to address “dangers of speeding” comes as part of Vision 2020 safety plan.

by on Mar.04, 2019

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said to improve the safety of its vehicles, they will be limited to 112 mph starting in 2021.

As part of its plan to prevent all deaths in future products, Volvo said Monday that it will limit the top speed to a maximum 180 kmh, or 112 mph starting with all models produced in 2021.

The automaker has laid out a strategy, dubbed Vision 2020, that aims to prevent all deaths and serious injuries in its products. It has been rolling out an assortment of passive and active safety features to help reach that goal, but sees the new self-imposed speed limit as a critical element in reaching its target.

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“Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.” (more…)

Pedestrian Deaths Climb to 28-Year High

Experts search for solutions, both high and low-tech.

by on Mar.01, 2019

The BMW X1 failed the IIHS pedestrian test, sending the dummy airborne during the exercise. Others suggest SUVs play a large role in rising pedestrian deaths.

Pedestrian deaths continued to rise at an alarming rate last year, reaching a 28-year high, according to new government data.

While a variety of factors appear to be responsible, including the use of smartphones by both drivers and pedestrians, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association also is pointing the finger at the explosive growth of SUVs which, like other light trucks, have tall, blunt noses that make it less likely someone will roll off of a vehicle when struck.

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Though formal federal data has yet to be released, the GHSA used statistical data analysis to estimate that 6,227 men, women and children were killed while walking on or alongside U.S. roads last year. If the official numbers back that up it would mark a 4% increase from 2017, and the largest number of pedestrian fatalities since 2018. (more…)

UAW Sues General Motors Over Plant Closures

Union looks to force GM to change plans with suit.

by on Feb.26, 2019

The UAW claims in a new lawsuit that GM's plans to shut down three plants in the U.S. violates the terms of their 2015 collective bargaining agreement.

The United Auto Workers union took its protest of the closing of three General Motors’ plants in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland to another level Tuesday filing suit against the company to prevent the shutting down of the facilities and preventing the elimination of thousands of jobs.

The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio, asks that GM be ordered to reverse its decision to close the plans and award damages to the employees for losses, claiming the company is in breach of contract. The contract in this case is the 2015 labor agreement between the two sides.

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Naturally, GM contends the plan does “not violate the provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement. We continue to work with the UAW on solutions to our business challenges.” (more…)

SEC Cites Musk for Contempt

“I do not respect the SEC.”

by on Feb.26, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk if facing contempt charges over some tweets about the Tesla's production plans.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fondness for tweeting has already caused him serious problems, from lawsuits to the loss of his job as the automaker’s chairman, but he now faces the possibility a federal court could hold him in contempt for violating a settlement reached last year over his claims Tesla was getting ready to go private.

The Securities and Exchange Commission claims Musk violated the $40 million agreement the two sides agreed to last September that led to Musk relinquishing his post as Tesla chairman and agreement to have his planned tweets reviewed by the company before posting them. Regulators say they are worried that, as was the case last year, Musk could be using social media to mislead investors.

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The new allegations come at a challenging time for both Musk and Tesla. The company has now delivered a profit for two consecutive quarters but has warned it faces the prospect of tighter finances for the rest of the year. It is struggling to build sales in China and other overseas markets. And the latest dust-up between Musk and the SEC raises the prospect the South African-born executive could be forced out of his remaining management role. (more…)

Ford Investigates Potential Errant Fuel Economy, Emissions Testing

Automaker hires outside law firm to lead query.

by on Feb.22, 2019

Ford employees began questioning the results of fuel economy and emissions testing on the 2019 Ranger.

Ford Motor Co. may be suffering from déjà vu, the automaker announcing it is in the midst of self-imposed investigation of its fuel economy and testing procedures that may have produced incorrect mileage and emissions data.

The query has been going on since last fall and began when several employees voiced concerns about the process and the resulting data. The automaker is quick to point out that these potential problems do not involve cheat devices like those used by Volkswagen AG or other automakers.

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Kimberly Pittel, Ford’s group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told Reuters the investigation began with the test results for the 2019 Ford Ranger. The company is evaluation alterations made to the testing process and calculations used to determine fuel economy and emissions results submitted to federal regulatory agencies. (more…)

Ghosn’s Lawyer Blasts Japanese Prosecutors, Nissan

“This should have been dealt with as an internal matter,” says lawyer known as “The Razor.”

by on Feb.20, 2019

Former Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn's new lawyer is ready to shake up his defense efforts.

Ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s new lawyer hasn’t wasted any time going on the offensive, calling out not only the automaker that has accused the former exec of financial misdeeds, but also the prosecutors who have refused to release Ghosn on bail after three months in detention.

The 64-year-old Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19, shortly after his corporate jet landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. He has been charged with several crimes, including the concealment of about $88 million in income. The allegations arose out of an internal investigation Nissan said was triggered by a whistleblower.

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“This should been dealt with as an internal matter,” Junichiro Hironaka said at a Wednesday media briefing in Tokyo. Hironaka is known as “the Razor” for his ability to help high-profile clients win acquittal in a country where prosecutors routinely win convictions in over 90% of their cases. (more…)