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NEWS
March 28, 1987 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
A youthful motorcyclist who developed a new, rough-terrain suspension system for his cycle won an award that could total $19 million from Suzuki Motor Co. Friday when a jury decided that the mammoth Japanese manufacturer had stolen his invention. A federal court jury in Los Angeles decided Don Richardson, a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, should be entitled to worldwide royalties for the unique floating shock absorber that he designed at the age of 19.
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BUSINESS
October 10, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Federal safety regulators are warning that counterfeit air bags are being installed by auto repair shops that might not deploy in an accident or alternately, could explode, sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle's passenger cabin. “We want consumers to be immediately aware of this problem and to review our safety information to see if their vehicle could be in need of inspection,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The fake air bags look nearly identical to certified, original-equipment parts, right down to bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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AUTOS
January 31, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
Nothing looks hotter on a new car than oversized alloy wheels and low-profile tires, the look of a black rubber band around a sleek, highly polished aluminum rim. Unfortunately, nothing is more vulnerable to the cruelties of the roadway than this combination, which has less protection from the pounding of potholes, road debris and occasional curbs.
BUSINESS
August 22, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
About 3,000 vehicles equipped to share information about their speed and location have hit the roads in Ann Arbor, Mich., as part of the largest road test to date of so-called connected vehicles. The wireless technology enables the vehicles and the traffic infrastructure to talk to one another in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is running the test in conjunction with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
NEWS
June 4, 1987 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles federal judge has reversed a potential $19-million judgment awarded to a young motorcycle mechanic who successfully sued Suzuki Motor Co. over patent rights to a suspension system he invented in his garage. In a ruling made public Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William P. Gray ordered a new trial on Donald G. Richardson's claims that the Japanese cycle manufacturer stole his invention when it marketed a new "full floater" suspension system on many of its models.
BUSINESS
May 1, 1991 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Cummins Engine Co. announced Wednesday the second of what Mexican authorities expect will be a flood of export-oriented auto parts plant expansions and openings that will bring $5 billion or more in investment to the country over the next few years. The Columbus, Ind.-based diesel engine manufacturer with $3.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2003 | Richard Winton, Times Staff Writers
They are the latest status symbol that has cost owners their lives. Forget the jewelry or overpriced high-tops. Fancy after-market car rims are the newest example of flashy conspicuous consumption. And the desire for a nice set of wheels, which has spread from hip-hop artists and sports stars to suburban SUV drivers, has spawned a whole new wave of thievery. Ryan James Groetken's family lives with that grim reality every day.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 2000 | LEE CONDON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tiffany Morrison was trying to be a fun mom. The Lake Isabella resident had agreed to take her two daughters and their three friends to Magic Mountain's Hurricane Harbor. Unfortunately, the Grapevine killed her station wagon. "This isn't fun. It's the middle of July, there's five kids with me and the car stops running," said Morrison, as the girls tried in vain to convince her that their amusement park adventure could be salvaged.
NEWS
October 8, 1994 | NORA ZAMICHOW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They sparkle and beckon, luring the eye into an intricate, mesmerizing tunnel of deep-set cold, shiny chrome or gold-plated spokes. Wheel rims make the car, transforming even a rusty junker into a flashy, cherried-out ride. "Killer rims," they're called, $1,500 to $7,000 a set. And now they are living up to their name.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 2004 | Stanley Allison, Times Staff Writer
It's a grim place, this auto junkyard in Anaheim. Hundreds of scarred wrecks and lifeless hulks arrive every week -- 50 to 60 a day, hastily dumped by an endless parade of tow-truck drivers. But for enterprising do-it-yourselfers looking for hard-to-find or discontinued auto parts, the 7-acre yard is the answer to many a prayer. Where else can you get a fender, front bumper, muffler, headlight switch, turn-signal lens and two door panels for $151.50, as one customer did recently?
WORLD
February 13, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Police at a Mexican seaport said they had found a pickup truck with body panels and a rear bumper made from pressed cocaine coated in fiberglass. The attorney general's office said a trained dog picked up the scent of drugs during an inspection of a shipping container sent from Colombia. Officials in the port of Manzanillo dismantled parts of a 1990 pickup truck inside the container and found the coated drugs.
WORLD
December 8, 2008 | Laura King, King is a Times staff writer.
In one of the largest and most brazen attacks of its kind, suspected Taliban insurgents with heavy weapons attacked two truck stops in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, destroying more than 150 vehicles carrying supplies bound for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan. The predawn attack on the outskirts of the city of Peshawar left the grounds of the truck terminals littered with the burned-out shells of Humvees and other military vehicles being transported by private truckers.
AUTOS
May 16, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
The seagulls in Marina del Rey conducted bombing practice for more than two months recently on Ted Field Sr.'s Lincoln Mark VIII. Nowadays, the once regal silver coupe is a pitiful sight and not terribly useful for getting around town either. It has been parked since winter because Field has been unable to find something called a variable load control module, better known as a black box. Ford stopped making the part for the 1996 vehicle, saying the part is obsolete.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Those minor fender benders might cost more than you think, according to new crash test results released Thursday by the insurance industry. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that most bumpers on mid-size cars do little to prevent costly damage to vehicles, even in low-speed crashes of 6 miles an hour or less. The crashes frequently occur in parking lots and in commuter traffic. Testing for the first time by the Arlington, Va.
AUTOS
January 31, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
Nothing looks hotter on a new car than oversized alloy wheels and low-profile tires, the look of a black rubber band around a sleek, highly polished aluminum rim. Unfortunately, nothing is more vulnerable to the cruelties of the roadway than this combination, which has less protection from the pounding of potholes, road debris and occasional curbs.
HEALTH
December 18, 2006 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
WHIPLASH is one of the most common injuries resulting from automobile crashes, affecting about 1 million Americans each year. But adjusting your car's head restraint properly can minimize the risk of injury, according to a new study. Using a computer model, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have shown that positioning the head restraint very close to the back of the head -- no more than 2.4 inches away from it -- provides the best protection.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Federal safety regulators are warning that counterfeit air bags are being installed by auto repair shops that might not deploy in an accident or alternately, could explode, sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle's passenger cabin. “We want consumers to be immediately aware of this problem and to review our safety information to see if their vehicle could be in need of inspection,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The fake air bags look nearly identical to certified, original-equipment parts, right down to bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
BUSINESS
March 17, 1989 | Jane Applegate
Ask 2-year-old Jeffrey Gross what he wants to be when he grows up and he has a quick answer. "Sales manager," he'll say, as he scampers around a truck parked at Ideal Sales & Distribution Co., his parents' truck accessories business in City of Commerce. Jeffrey's father, Mark Gross, beams. Gross says he would like nothing better than for his son and 5-year-old daughter, Rachel, to follow him and his wife, Julie, into the family business. At 35, Mark Gross is president and owner of Ideal.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2006 | John O'Dell
Farmers Insurance Co. has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that it required use of substandard metal replacement parts for crash repairs. The insurer has agreed to pay claimants $20 to $40 for each substandard part used in repairing their vehicles. Farmers also will pay $17 million to the law firms that handled the case. The suit, filed in Orange County Superior Court in 2000, covers Farmers clients who had vehicles repaired from June 15,1996, to Nov. 1, 2006.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2006
The already ailing auto parts industry expects at least a year more of pain from production cuts at Ford, Chrysler and other automakers in the next year. A poll by the Original Equipment Suppliers Assn. found that more than a third of suppliers anticipated industrywide auto production cuts of at least 5% from present levels in the next year, and 13% of those surveyed said they expected production to fall 10% or more.
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