Archive for the ‘Lawsuits/Legal’ Category

German Prosecutors Charger Former VW CEO Winterkorn with Fraud

Lawyers charge four other executives as well.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged by German prosecutors with fraud related to the diesel emissions scandal.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud on Monday by German prosecutors for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions testing scandal. The scandal came to light in 2015.

“Former Chief Executive Dr. Martin Winterkorn is being charged with a particularly serious case of fraud, a violation of the law against unfair competition and breach of fiduciary trust,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

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Prosecutors also said that Winterkorn and four other managers faced charges, but did not give the names of the other four or say whether they were still employed by Volkswagen. Winterkorn’s lawyer, Felix Doerr, declined to comment, saying he had not seen all of the paperwork, according to Reuters. (more…)

Tokyo Court Extends Ghosn’s Detention by Eight Days

More time was expected, although shorter than predicted.

by on Apr.12, 2019

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn accused former colleagues of backstabbing in a video made just before his re-arrest last week.

Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will be spending more time in jail than originally proscribed by the Tokyo District Court. In a move surprising no one, the court extended Ghosn’s detention period to April 22.

He was initially set to be released on Sunday, but was expected to be detained another 10 days so the judge’s move to limit it to eight is a bright spot for the former auto executive.

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The move gives prosecutors eight more days to bring formal charges against the former Nissan Motor Co boss or let him go. Ghosn’s detention period during his initial arrest last November was extended several times at the request of prosecutors. (more…)

Bipartisan Group Looks to Create New EV Tax Credits

The new plan calls for 400,000 more credits per automaker.

by on Apr.10, 2019

Michigan Senator Gary Peters is one of a group of legislators sponsoring the Driving America Forward Act.

Just weeks after President Donald Trump announced to the dismay of automakers and environmentalists he plans to eliminate all electric vehicle tax credits, a bipartisan group of lawmakers will introduce a bill to put new ones in place.

The group’s bill, named the Driving America Forward Act, will expand the electric vehicle tax credit by 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer. This would be an immediate boost to Tesla and General Motors, which have already blown through 200,000 of the top tier credits. Their vehicles are now only eligible for a $3,750 credit, and that will drop by half by the end of the year.

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The bill is sponsored by Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins and Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee, Reuters reported. If passed, it could boost electric vehicle sales, which would be a nice reward for automakers that have committed tens of billions of dollars to meet rising global emissions requirements. (more…)

Ghosn Accuses Colleagues of Conspiracy, Backstabbing in Video

Former Chairman says Nissan officials afraid of next phase of alliance.

by on Apr.09, 2019

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn accused former colleagues of backstabbing in a video made just before his re-arrest last week.

In his first public statement since his initial arrest in November, former Renault-Nissan Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn tersely and forcefully accused “backstabbing” former colleagues of conspiring to get him fired from his job as Nissan chairman and threatening the Japanese automaker’s future.

Ghosn, clad in a black suit and white shirt, levied the charges in a video made shown to reporters in Tokyo Monday after he was re-arrested last week on new allegations that he used $5 million in company funds for his own benefit.

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The former executive had been out on $9 million bail for 30 days, and recorded the video the day before he went back to jail. Nissan Motor Co. chairman also said in the video that rivals focused on derailing a closer alliance between the automaker and French partner Renault were to blame for his current problems.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Settles False Filings Antitrust Lawsuit

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

by on Apr.05, 2019

Fiat Chrysler reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department about filing false sales reports. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The U.S. Justice Department and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reached a settlement in an antitrust lawsuit about claims the automaker forced dealers to report false sales numbers, hoping to bolster the company’s stock price.

Those allegations spurred a separate federal investigation to determine if information filed with the  Securities and Exchange Commission gave shareholders an overly rosy impression of FCA’s financial situation. Those investigations are ongoing, FCA said. The settlement terms are confidential.

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The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Chicago in January 2016, alleged racketeering, violations of antitrust laws and breach of contract. FCA twice won dismissal of the racketeering claim, but the rest of the charges are headed to trial this year, Bloomberg reported. (more…)

Former Nissan Boss Ghosn Expected to Be Back in Jail for at Least 10 Days

Japanese prosecutors have shown skill at extending his detention, however.

by on Apr.05, 2019

Carlos Ghosn was taken into custody again in Japan after new charges were filed against him by prosecutors.

Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan boss who was rearrested for the fourth time on Thursday on charges of financial corruption will be detained at the Tokyo Detention Center until at least April 14, a court in the capital city ruled Friday morning.

As they did when Ghosn was first arrested Nov. 19, prosecutors can readily seek a 10-day extension and they have already proved adept at stringing things out even longer, Ghosn spending a total of 108 days in solitary confinement before finally winning bail on March 6. Among other things, authorities could arrest Ghosn for a fifth time on new or revised charges.

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Prosecutors based the latest arrest on allegations that $5 million a Nissan subsidiary had intended for a dealership in Oman was instead diverted to a company controlled by Ghosn. Prior arrests have outlined claims that the executive, among other things, hid nearly $90 million in income. (more…)

EU Claims VW, BMW and Daimler Colluded to Limit Emissions Tech

Automakers slowed use of new tech from 2006 to 2014.

by on Apr.05, 2019

Volkswagen as well as BMW and Daimler colluded to limit use of improved emissions technology in their European vehicles, an EU investigation found.

After completing its investigation, it was determined that collusion did occur … between Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler AG, European Union investigators said in a preliminary report.

EU authorities declared the three German automakers colluded to limit the development of emissions-cleaning technology in their vehicles, violating EU laws between 2006 and 2014. The union’s antitrust regulator, according to Associated Press, recently completed an investigation into the actions of the three companies.

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It determined that the three automakers agreed to limit the use of exhaust-improving technologies for gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The result limited the access of Europeans to less polluting cars, but not the price. (more…)

Judge Tells Tesla CEO Musk and SEC to Work it Out

Nathan tells both sides to put their "reasonableness pants" on.

by on Apr.04, 2019

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

The much-awaited courtroom showdown between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission never materialized as the two sides were told to make nice and work it out in the next two weeks.

Judge Alison Nathan instructed the “combatants” to renegotiate and clarify parts of a 2018 settlement agreement that mandated stricter oversight of Musk’s use of social media, particularly Twitter. The two sides were in court because the SEC believes Musk violated the terms of the deal, which cost Tesla and Musk $40 million, and he should be found in contempt.

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“Put your reasonableness pants on,” Nathan told both sides during a hearing in New York on Thursday. (more…)

Former Nissan CEO Ghosn Rearrested on New Corruption Charges

“My arrest this morning is outrageous and arbitrary,” said embattled exec.

by on Apr.04, 2019

Carlos Ghosn was arrested once again on a new set of charges brought by Japanese prosecutors.

Less than a month after being released on bail, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn found himself in a police van being hauled back to the Tokyo Detention Center Thursday morning after being arrested for the fourth time.

Authorities said the move came in the wake of new allegations of financial corruption stemming from Ghosn’s years as the top executive at Japan’s second-largest automaker, the 65-year-old now accused of not only hiding millions of dollars in pay but diverting company funds. However, the latest move by prosecutors has renewed concerns that Ghosn is actually being used as a pawn in a political game for control in the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

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“My arrest this morning is outrageous and arbitrary,” Ghosn said in a statement issued after he was roused from his apartment in Tokyo. “It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken. I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me.” (more…)

Toyota Opens Access to Electric Vehicle Patents

Action follows in steps of Tesla doing something similar a few years back.

by on Apr.04, 2019

Toyota is freeing up access to more than 24,000 patents involving its electric vehicles, hoping to speed EV development.

Toyota is freeing up the technology behind some 24,000 patents from around the world that it now holds on hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Japanese automaker said it hopes it will help spur development of hybrids and battery-electric vehicles.

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Toyota said it will grant royalty-free licenses on the thousands of patents it holds (including some pending applications) for vehicle electrification-related technologies. In addition, Toyota will provide fee-based technical support to other manufacturers developing and selling electrified vehicles when they use Toyota’s motors, batteries, PCUs, control ECUs and other vehicle electrification system technologies as part of their powertrain systems. (more…)

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