Automotive

  • September 14, 2017

    Nissan Hid Unsafe Transmission Defect In Sentras, Suit Says

    A Nissan Sentra owner has hit the automaker with a proposed class action in California federal court, alleging that Nissan North America Inc. sold cars with a faulty transmission prone to overheating, which can cause them to slow or stop without warning in traffic.

  • September 14, 2017

    Tenn., Court Clerks Punish Poor For Traffic Debts, Suit Says

    The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and various county court clerks were hit with a proposed federal class action Thursday alleging they unconstitutionally targeted poor residents by revoking their drivers’ licenses for unpaid traffic debts without adequate notice.

  • September 14, 2017

    Ford Beats Class Action Over Defective Vehicle Buybacks

    Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday beat a proposed class action claiming it improperly deducted certain charges when it bought back defective vehicles, with a California federal judge ruling that the deductions were part of settlements and that such agreements can’t be partially enforced.

  • September 14, 2017

    Ford Truck Owner Drops Suit Over Incompatible Car Jacks

    About two months after filing a proposed class action against Ford over car jacks that are allegedly too small to fit the trucks they’re sold with, an F-250 Super Duty owner voluntarily dropped his suit on Wednesday, but kept open the possibility that it could be refiled.

  • September 13, 2017

    New DOT Self-Driving Car Policy: Flexibility With No Teeth

    The Trump administration's federal policy aiming to accelerate the development of self-driving or autonomous cars establishes a safety-driven yet flexible protocol for carmakers and technology companies, but leaves it up to Congress and federal agencies to come up with rules for enforcement and punts on privacy and data-sharing concerns, experts say.

  • September 13, 2017

    GM Trust Says Ditching $15M Defect Settlement Was Best Path

    A General Motors bankruptcy trust handling creditor claims on Tuesday defended its last-minute decision to back out of a $15 million settlement with car purchasers and accident victims over alleged vehicle defects, saying it made more sense to accept GM’s offer to pay defense litigation costs.

  • September 13, 2017

    Fed. Circ. Refuses To Send Uber-Waymo Feud To Arbitration

    A case in which Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car unit Waymo LLC accuses Uber Technologies Inc. of stealing its trade secrets will proceed to trial in California federal court next month after the Federal Circuit on Wednesday shut down Uber’s request to send the case to private arbitration.

  • September 13, 2017

    Uber Can’t Get Partial Win In Drivers' 'On Call' Fight

    A Pennsylvania federal judge refused Wednesday to toss part of a putative class action accusing Uber Technologies Inc. of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, reiterating his position in an earlier order that said the issue of whether drivers are working when “on call” can only be resolved after discovery.

  • September 13, 2017

    Chase's $425M Claim Against Auto Parts Mogul Reaffirmed

    JPMorgan Chase came one step closer on Wednesday to recovering $425 million the bank says was improperly taken out of a trust by an auto parts magnate to avoid paying bankruptcy debts, as a Michigan federal court reaffirmed an earlier ruling labeling the move a fraudulent transfer. 

  • September 13, 2017

    Fed Circ. Says Waymo Can See Uber Counsel's Secret Report

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday ruled Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car unit Waymo LLC can see Stroz Friedberg LLC’s confidential Uber report in Waymo’s trade secret suit against the ride-hailing giant, rejecting an Uber executive’s arguments that disclosures in the report are protected and could incriminate him.

  • September 13, 2017

    12,500 Ford Owners Opt Out Of Settlement, Plan To Sue

    Nearly 12,500 Ford Fiesta and Focus owners with allegedly defective transmissions have opted out of a proposed settlement and plan to sue the automaker within the next month, Stern Law PLLC said Wednesday.

  • September 13, 2017

    Eaton Denies Intent To Spin Off Unit In $3B Investor Suit

    Eaton Corp. PLC asked a New York federal judge Wednesday to throw out a proposed class action alleging the company cost shareholders $3 billion when it couldn’t spin off its automotive division tax-free, saying the conglomerate had repeatedly and emphatically asserted it had no intention of doing so.

  • September 13, 2017

    German Co. Hit With Antitrust Suit Over Car Door Latches

    A proposed class of auto dealers sued German auto parts manufacturer Kiekert AG on Tuesday for allegedly conspiring to fix the prices of vehicle door latches, saying they were tipped off when the company agreed to pay $6.1 million and plead guilty to similar U.S. Department of Justice allegations in March.

  • September 12, 2017

    Bosch Agrees To $33.4M Deal In Auto Parts Price-Fixing MDL

    Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch LLC have agreed to pay $33.4 million to settle antitrust lawsuits involving four different types of auto parts, consumers seeking preliminary approval of the deal told a Michigan federal judge Monday.

  • September 12, 2017

    Automation Over-Reliance A Factor In Tesla Crash, NTSB Says

    Companies developing semi-autonomous vehicles should find better ways to identify when a driver isn’t actively paying attention to the car’s surroundings, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday, finding that a Tesla driver’s over-reliance on his car’s automation contributed to a fatal Florida crash.

  • September 12, 2017

    GM Plaintiffs Move To Enforce Revoked $15M Bankruptcy Deal

    A group of car owners and claimholders alleging damages from defects in old General Motors' vehicles asked a New York federal court Monday to enforce a $15 million settlement with a bankruptcy trust that was all but signed before the manufacturer allegedly undermined the deal.

  • September 12, 2017

    DOT Unveils Voluntary Guidance For Self-Driving Cars Rollout

    The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday unveiled a new federal policy that eases the process for manufacturing, testing and deploying self-driving or autonomous cars in the U.S., establishing guidelines prioritizing safety and discouraging states from drafting potentially conflicting self-driving car rules of their own.

  • September 12, 2017

    Auto Bearings Buyers Seek Final OK Of $21M Settlement

    Direct purchasers of automotive and industrial bearings urged a Michigan federal court Monday to grant final approval of a $21 million settlement to end allegations that a German manufacturer participated in a global price-fixing scheme in multidistrict litigation over a wide-ranging auto parts price-fixing conspiracy.

  • September 11, 2017

    China Aims To End Sale, Production Of Gas-Powered Cars

    China is planning to phase out the manufacture and sale of vehicles running on gasoline and diesel, a government official said at an automobile forum this weekend, according to state-run media outlet Xinhua.

  • September 11, 2017

    Commerce Slaps Anti-Dumping Duties On Synthetic Rubber

    The Department of Commerce has issued anti-dumping duty orders on imports of synthetic rubber used in tires imported from Brazil, Poland, Mexico and South Korea after the department and the International Trade Commission determined the goods were being sold into the U.S. market at prices that unfairly undercut local producers.

Expert Analysis

  • The Whys And Hows Of Motor Vehicle Titling Trusts: Part 2

    Alan Mogol

    In the second installment of this article, Baker Donelson partner Alan Mogol examines how the beneficial ownership interest in a sub-trust may be used for warehouse financing, permanent financing and syndication, and the importance of compliance with securities laws in syndication arrangements.

  • 4 Ways Law Firms Can Help Battle Addiction

    Link Christin

    With more than a third of lawyers showing signs of problem drinking, and untold others abusing prescription drugs and other substances, it is time for law firms to be more proactive in addressing this issue, says Link Christin, executive director of the Legal Professionals Program at Caron Treatment Centers.

  • The Whys And Hows Of Motor Vehicle Titling Trusts: Part 1

    Alan Mogol

    When motor vehicles are acquired and titled in the name of an equipment finance company, a subsequent syndication of lease financing including a transfer of legal title to a motor vehicle can involve significant burden and expense. A titling trust program to facilitate syndication of such leases can have many advantages, says Alan Mogol of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

  • A Law Firm Guide To Helping Victims Of Human Trafficking

    Sarah Dohoney Byrne

    Unlike victims of many crimes, human trafficking survivors often have complicated legal problems related to the experience of being trafficked — everything from criminal records to custody disputes to immigration obstacles. Many law firms already provide assistance in these areas and can easily transition resources and expertise, says Sarah Dohoney Byrne of Moore & Van Allen PLLC.

  • Rebuttal

    Discovery Proportionality: A Defense View

    Alan Hoffman

    A recent Law360 guest article offered a plaintiff’s guide to discovery proportionality, focusing on recent amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But proportionality is achieved by collaboration, not by mechanistically applying rules. When lawyers work together to establish the nature and scope of discovery, disputes can be avoided, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Uber Finds Out Just How Serious FTC Is About Privacy

    Sheila Millar

    Uber recently joined the growing number of companies that have agreed to Federal Trade Commission consent orders obligating stringent auditing and reporting requirements. In previous cases, the FTC has imposed such requirements for shorter periods, but where it has found privacy breaches to be particularly egregious, it hasn't been shy about imposing detailed and extensive conditions, says Sheila Millar of Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • Rebuttal

    Assessing 'The Value Of Class Actions'

    Andrew Pincus

    In a recent Law360 opinion piece, Gary Mason claimed that class actions provide “significant benefits” to class members. But the study he conducted to support this conclusion shows just the opposite, says Andrew Pincus of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • 3rd Circ. Introduces New Ascertainability Uncertainty

    Robert Hickok

    Though the recent opinion in City Select Auto Sales v. BMW Bank of North America did not make any sweeping changes to the Third Circuit’s ascertainability jurisprudence, it did alter the relevant analysis slightly — and that may prove an important development in the court that created the two-pronged ascertainability standard, say attorneys with Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Diversity In The Legal Profession — A Stubborn Vision

    Robert Grey

    At the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, we want to see, as founding member and Microsoft chief legal officer Brad Smith once stated, “a legal profession as diverse as the nation we serve.” We are not there yet — far from it — but we are beginning to put some numbers on the board, says Robert Grey, president of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

  • Opinion

    New Salary History Laws Crimp Attorney Hiring Process

    Fredric Newman

    In prohibiting employers from asking potential hires about their previous salaries, lawmakers seek to "level the playing field." But there are real problems with the practicality, legality and enforceability of many of the salary history laws, says Fredric Newman, a founding partner of Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP.