April 14, 2014 |
In the late 1960s, a charismatic vice president at Ford Motor Co. decided to bring out a low-priced car that could be produced for little money while bringing in huge profits. The executive's name was Lee Iacocca, and the Ford Pinto he championed became one of the most infamous models in U.S. automotive history. Why? Because to save money, Ford released a car that could explode in even low-speed rear-end collisions. I still teach the Pinto case to my law students as an example of how profits sometimes overwhelm principle.
April 9, 2014 |
Toyota Motor Corp. will recall more than 6 million vehicles worldwide to fix a variety of problems, including a wiring issue that might disable airbags and a glitch that could trigger the driver's seat in some cars to suddenly shift. It's just the latest in a parade of massive recalls by manufacturers this year, especially in the U.S. Toyota's announcement Wednesday brought the number of vehicles called back by automakers in the U.S. to nearly 13 million so far this year, on pace to surpass the record 30.8 million vehicles recalled in 2004.
April 8, 2014 |
English soccer giant Manchester United will meet the Galaxy in a July 23 friendly at the Rose Bowl. The match will be the first in the team's summer tour of the United States, and it will also mark the first time the team will wear its Chevrolet-branded kits. General Motors paid a record $560 million over seven years to place the Chevy name and bow-tie logo on the team's uniform. United, which has won 13 of 21 English titles decided during the Premier League era, will be in the U.S. to compete in the International Champions Cup, a tournament that debuted last year and included two games at Dodger Stadium.
April 8, 2014 |
Some of the country's most popular midsize sport utility vehicles flunked a recent series of crash tests, leading the influential magazine Consumer Reports to pull its coveted "recommended" rating for three of the vehicles. The independant Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced Tuesday that the Kia Sorrento, Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9 all earned a "poor" overall rating in the front overlap crash test. Six others passed the test. The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain twins scored "good" ratings from the IIHS.
April 1, 2014 |
Despite General Motors' recent recall of millions of its cars - and several investigations into the issue - buyers are still streaming into GM dealerships. The beleaguered automaker announced Tuesday that sales in March rose 4% compared with the same month a year earlier. Nearly the entire industry saw a similar jump in the U.S., with sales up 5.7% to 1.54 million vehicles, according to Autodata. Pent-up consumer demand and healthy sales incentives helped companies rebound from a slow February, when bad weather throughout much of the country kept buyers away, according to Mark Wakefield, managing director at AlixPartners and head of its automotive practice in North America.
April 1, 2014 |
Auto sales turned up in March as relief from the bitter winter cold in much of the nation brought shoppers back to showrooms. “Solid March sales pushed first-quarter industry results ahead of last year's pace despite one of the harshest winters on record,” said Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota's U.S. sales division. “Toyota dealers had their two best sales weekends of the year late in the month, and we're optimistic that momentum will spring us in into April.” Toyota Motor Corp.