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AUTOS
July 12, 2006 | Jeanne Wright, Special to The Times
A new bill of rights for California car buyers provides grace periods for used-car purchases, caps dealer compensation on loans and features other provisions that are some of the strongest consumer protections in the country, according to state legislators and consumer advocates. The law, which went into effect July 1, applies to motor vehicles bought in California from a dealer for personal, family or household use.
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NEWS
February 6, 2012 | By James Oliphant
Perhaps the most attention-getting Super Bowl ad - other than that dog blackmailing his owner with tortilla chips to keep quiet over a felinicide, of course - was Clint Eastwood's paean to a resurgent auto industry in Detroit. The ad featured Eastwood leveraging his cinematic persona to the hilt, emerging from the shadows while praising and challenging Americans at the same time. “It's halftime in America too,” Eastwood rasped during halftime at the Super Bowl in a manner reminiscent of the Detroiter he played in “Gran Torino.”  “Seems that we've lost our heart at times.
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BUSINESS
April 17, 1998 | DONALD W. NAUSS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ford Motor Co. reported a 15% increase in first-quarter earnings as the nation's No. 2 auto maker benefited from strong truck sales, continued cost-cutting and improved performance in Europe. The record earnings--the firm's eighth consecutive increase in quarterly profit--came despite sharply higher marketing costs. Increased rebates, an estimated average of about $1,100 per vehicle, were offset by $400 million in cost reductions. Overall, Ford posted first-quarter operating profit of $1.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
On a summer day in 1911, Donald MacPherson was driving his Buick runabout to Sarasota Springs, N.Y., when the wooden spokes snapped on a rear wheel, flipping the open car and trapping him under the rear axle. MacPherson suffered a badly lacerated eye and a broken wrist so painful he couldn't grip the tools he needed to ply his craft as a stone cutter. He sued Buick Motor Co., alleging negligence in failing to ensure the wheel was roadworthy. In what would become a landmark ruling in product liability law, the New York Court of Appeals in 1916 awarded MacPherson $5,025 in compensation -- about $115,000 in today's dollars -- and established the automaker's "duty of care" to ensure customers are sold a safe product.
NEWS
March 14, 1992 | JAMES GERSTENZANG and SAM FULWOOD III, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Campaigning within a mile of each other at one point, President Bush and challenger Patrick J. Buchanan wooed Michigan voters Friday with promises to aid the ailing automobile industry. Bush, in a speech to a business group meeting in this suburban headquarters of Ford Motor Co., announced he was scrapping an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that new cars be equipped with canisters to capture gasoline fumes that escape when fuel is pumped into gas tanks.
BUSINESS
December 2, 1991 | MICHAEL PARRISH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"We offer everything!" car salesmen Gary Starr exclaims, all shirt sleeves and teeth. "CD players, tinted windows, hands-free cellular phone, even power windows. We'll lease you a car. We take trade-ins too, as long as they're electric." As the sharp aroma of roasting espresso breezes along the street in downtown Santa Rosa, past the furniture store and the Omelette Express, Starr, president of Solar Electric Engineering Inc.
BUSINESS
November 19, 1997 | KAREN KAPLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After spending nearly 5 years and $24 million to develop an engine technology that it promised would revolutionize the auto industry, Rosen Motors will close its doors on Friday because it couldn't persuade any major car manufacturers to buy into its vision. Launched in 1993 by Harold Rosen, a renowned aerospace engineer, and his brother Ben, a legendary venture capitalist and chairman of Compaq Computer Corp., Rosen Motors aimed to develop a turbine-flywheel powertrain for passenger cars.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
On a summer day in 1911, Donald MacPherson was driving his Buick runabout to Sarasota Springs, N.Y., when the wooden spokes snapped on a rear wheel, flipping the open car and trapping him under the rear axle. MacPherson suffered a badly lacerated eye and a broken wrist so painful he couldn't grip the tools he needed to ply his craft as a stone cutter. He sued Buick Motor Co., alleging negligence in failing to ensure the wheel was roadworthy. In what would become a landmark ruling in product liability law, the New York Court of Appeals in 1916 awarded MacPherson $5,025 in compensation -- about $115,000 in today's dollars -- and established the automaker's "duty of care" to ensure customers are sold a safe product.
BUSINESS
June 20, 1994 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Foreign Car-Assembly Projects Outlawed: As part of its launch of a program to raise its own industrial giants, the country has banned new-car assembly projects that involve foreigners until 1996 and will tighten controls on car imports. The ban, part of a government initiative called the Framework of National Industrial Policy for the '90s, will focus resources to allow rapid expansion of eight existing car companies, said Ye Qing, vice minister of the state planning commission.
BUSINESS
July 2, 1987 | JAMES RISEN, Times Staff Writer
Acknowledging that Chrysler had been "dumb" to disconnect the odometers on new cars being test-driven by company managers before they were sold, Chrysler Chairman Lee A. Iacocca asked the nation for forgiveness Wednesday. "Did we screw up? You bet we did," Iacocca conceded during a press conference at Chrysler's headquarters. "We're human, and sometimes people do some pretty dumb things."
BUSINESS
January 2, 2010 | By Brent Snavely
Even as Detroit automakers move their focus away from pickups to small, fuel-efficient cars, full-size trucks still make up more than 20% of sales by Detroit automakers and could play a key role in helping the companies recover in 2010. Foreign automakers, despite efforts with models such as the Toyota Tundra and the Nissan Titan, have not been successful in stealing profitable pickup market share from the Detroit Three. Through November, Detroit automakers sold 91% of all full-size pickups.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2009
General Motor Co.'s vice chairman, Bob Lutz, came to the Los Angeles Auto Show primed to talk about the company's Chevy Volt, its electric vehicle rolling out next year. But the only thing anyone wanted to talk about Wednesday was this week's surprise resignation of Chief Executive Fritz Henderson. Though Lutz gamely tried to dodge questions about the leadership vacuum, by day's end he had broken down a bit, revealing that the next person to take the job would probably be a outsider.
NATIONAL
August 1, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter
As the unemployment rate topped 25% and General Motors planned to cut more jobs in this long-struggling auto town, voters decided to focus their anger on one person: Mayor Donald J. Williamson. More than 17,000 residents signed a petition demanding his recall, citing waste, corruption, mismanagement and sundry other complaints. Williamson resigned 10 days before the vote. "He made people so mad," said Eric Mays, a retired GM worker who led an earlier effort to recall Williamson that failed.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2009 | Jim Puzzanghera and Ken Bensinger
By offering a sweetened deal Thursday to holders of $27 billion of its bonds, General Motors Corp. and the Obama administration are trying to follow Chrysler's path to a quick exit from bankruptcy. As GM rolls toward an expected Chapter 11 filing by Monday, a new, leaner and hopefully profitable Chrysler is preparing to emerge from its own court-supervised restructuring.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2009 | Associated Press
General Motors Corp. said Friday that it had borrowed an additional $4 billion from the Treasury Department, meaning the automaker has now accepted $19.4 billion in loans from the U.S. government. GM started taking government money in December and said it intended to borrow $2.6 billion more by June 1 and an additional $9 billion after that. But in a regulatory filing Friday, GM said it needed $1.4 billion sooner than originally forecast.
BUSINESS
May 12, 2009 | Martin Zimmerman
The breakdown of two of Detroit's Big Three is bringing urgency to the scramble among the world's automakers to forge alliances with former rivals, carve inroads into new markets and shop for well-known brands. The turmoil has led to a flurry of deals realigning the automotive playing field. Italian automaker Fiat's bid to become a truly global player by acquiring control of Chrysler and eyeing General Motors Corp.'s European operations is only the most obvious move.
BUSINESS
August 5, 1989 | From Associated Press
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest automobile manufacturer, said Friday that it will stop using the gases blamed for destroying the Earth's protective ozone layer. Toyota spokesman Anthony McMillan said that by 1995, the company will stop using the gas for cleaning and cooling during the manufacturing process. Toyota used 2,800 tons of CFC during 1988, he said. The Toyota group, which includes affiliated parts suppliers, used 9,500 tons last year, McMillan said. Nippondenso Co.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2000 | From Bloomberg News
A California judge who found that Ford Motor Co. concealed a safety defect in millions of vehicles Friday ordered the auto maker to begin settlement talks, which could avert a statewide recall. Ford faces a recall of 1.7 million cars and trucks that have been owned or leased by California consumers. A settlement could help the world's No. 2 auto maker avoid the recall, and estimated costs of $150 to $170 per vehicle, as well as a new trial that is set to begin next year.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2009 | David Colker
The Chrysler bankruptcy is huge financial news with international repercussions, but if you own one of the beleaguered company's cars, it gets personal. Here's what the bankruptcy means for consumers: Will my warranty still be honored? "All vehicle warranties will be honored without interruption," Chief Executive Robert Nardelli said. (His personal warranty is used up, however -- he's leaving the company.) Will extended service contracts stay in force? In-house contracts will be honored.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2009 | Peter Pae
The major players in a key industry file for bankruptcy protection with the hope of reshaping operations quickly and coming back to compete more strongly. But it's not the automakers; it's the airlines, which just a few years ago underwent a wrenching restructuring in Bankruptcy Court that fundamentally altered the travel industry. Circumstances are different. But with Chrysler's filing for bankruptcy protection Thursday, and General Motors Corp.
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