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Found 15 results

  1. The tweet that has become Elon Musk's version of Pandora's Box has brought forth a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Today, the SEC accused Musk of securities fraud when he tweeted that he had the funding secured to take Tesla private back in August. "Musk knew or was reckless in not knowing that each of these statements was false and/or misleading because he did not have an adequate basis in fact for his assertions," the SEC wrote in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court today. "Musk's false and misleading public statements and omissions caused significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock and resulting harm to investors." In the complaint, the SEC says the $420 share price was "based on a 20% premium over that day's closing share price because he thought 20% was a 'standard premium' in going-private transactions." At the time, that price would have been $419. The complaint goes on to say "Musk stated that he rounded the price up to $420 because he had recently learned about the number's significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend 'would find it funny, which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price.'" The SEC is requesting Musk "be prohibited from acting as an officer or director of any issuer that has a class of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act." This whole mess began on August 7th with Musk tweeting this, This surprised a number of people and brought forth questions as to who would provide the large amount of funding needed for this. About a week later, Musk revealed that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) could provide the necessary funding. This was based on discussions with the fund within the past couple of years. But Musk would pull the plug on this a few weeks after announcing it. "Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,” Musk wrote in a blog post. According to Bloomberg, the SEC was already investigating Tesla for various issues including projection into car sales before Musk made the tweet that brought forth a number of problems. “This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed. I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way,” said Musk in a statement. "Neither celebrity status nor a reputation as a technological innovator provide an exemption from the federal securities laws," Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC's Enforcement Division said during a press conference. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required), Roadshow, SEC (Link to the complaint)
  2. The past month has been quite strenuous on the relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California. Back in April, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced they would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations set towards the end of President Obama's tenure. The EPA also announced that it was considering revoking California's waiver to set their own emission standards. A few days later, we reported that the officials from the White House, California, and automakers were trying to work out a possible emissions deal to prevent a legal fight. It seems those talks went nowhere as California along with sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have filed suit challenging the rollback. On Tuesday, the collation led by California filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the rollback. This group makes up 40 percent of the U.S. auto market. "The states joining today's lawsuit represent 140 million people who simply want cleaner and more efficient cars. This phalanx of states will defend the nation's clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution," said California Governor Jerry Brown in a statement. The suit alleges that the EPA decision to roll back the regulation lacked any scientific reason. The EPA is also accused of failing to follow its own regulations and violating the Clean Air Act. “This is California saying: You really want war? We’ll give you war. It’s a signal to the administration that they’re not going to get away with anything in this space,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign to the New York Times. According to Reuters, the Department of Transportation has a draft proposal of the changes that is expected to be released to the public later this month. The draft would freeze emission requirements for vehicles at 2020 levels through 2026. The draft also asserts that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 bars California from imposing their own rules, even with the waiver. This proposal has already earned the ire of the public and various members of the U.S. Senate. One Senator, Tom Carper, D-Delaware obtained a copy of the proposal and sent a scathing letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Pruitt. “Such a proposal, if finalized, would harm U.S. national and economic security, undermine efforts to combat global warming pollution, create regulatory and manufacturing uncertainty for the automobile industry and unnecessary litigation, increase the amount of gasoline consumers would have to buy, and runs counter to statements that both of you have made to Members of Congress,” wrote Carper. There is a lot riding on this suit as it could possibly cause the U.S. to have two different emission regulations and automakers having to meet both of them. "Enough is enough. We're not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families' health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them," said Xavier Becerra, California state attorney general. Yesterday, the White House announced that it will be meeting with leaders of the major automakers next week. The meeting will be talking about the planned changes to the fuel efficiency rules. It is expected that automakers will be trying to push the Trump administration and California to agree to a national standard. Source: New York Times, Roadshow, Reuters, (2), U.S. Senate (Carper's Letter)
  3. It seems any auto manufacturer that has built a diesel in recent years is getting hit with a lawsuit. The latest one to hit the courts involves Ford and their Super Duty pickups. According to Bloomberg, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ford and supplier Bosch for using emissions-cheating software on the 2011 to 2017 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks. The suit alleges that Ford conspired with Bosch on developing software that would allow the company to alter engine parameters to help emission standards during EPA testing. In the real world, the engines would spew out as much as 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants. The suit alleges 58 violations of state consumer law, false advertising and racketeering claims. “The vehicle’s own on-board diagnostic software indicates emission control system to be operating as Ford intended, even though its real world performance grossly exceeds the standard,” said Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman in the complaint. “All Ford vehicles, including those with diesel engines, comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations. Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices. We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims,” said Daniel Barbosa, a spokesman for Ford to Bloomberg. This comes only a day after Ford announced the specifications for the upcoming F-150 Power Stroke diesel. Source: Bloomberg
  4. As if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles didn't have enough things on its plate, there is talk about the U.S. Justice Department readying a lawsuit over alleged violations of U.S. clean-air rules with their diesel vehicles Bloomberg learned from two sources that the Justice Department is preparing a lawsuit against FCA alleging the company used illegal defeat devices on models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. The defeat devices in question disable emission controls to improve performance. Sources go on to say the lawsuit could be filed this week if negotiations between FCA and the U.S. Government fail to resolve the differences. Back in January, the EPA accused FCA of violating diesel emission standards on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel from 2014 to 2016 model years. The company did not disclose eight different software programs installed on the 3.0L EcoDiesel, which is a violation of the Clean Air Act. Since then, the two have been in negotiations to try and resolve these issues according to a source. “In the case of any litigation, FCA US will defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. The company believes that any litigation would be counterproductive to ongoing discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board,” FCA said in a emailed statement. Spokespeople for the EPA and Justice Department declined to comment. Source: Bloomberg
  5. A group of Shelby GT350 owners are not happy with Ford. Yesterday, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming that the track-ready GT350 isn't. According to filling, owners complain that the vehicle overheats in as little as 15 minutes due faulty transmissions and rear differentials when driven on a track. When the vehicle does overheat, it goes into a limp mode that reduces power to protect the powertrain. The filing goes on to say that Ford fixed this issue in the 2017 model, but told owners of the 2016 model to make the fixes themselves - a possible breach of the car's warranty. “When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm handling the case. “We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its ‘track-ready’ marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hotrod consumers paid for.” At the moment, the lawsuit has four named plaintiffs. Hagens Berman estimates about 4,000 owners are affected by this issue. “Ford is committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles. However, we do not comment on pending litigation,” said Ford spokesman Bradley Carroll to The Detroit News. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News
  6. There is no love lost between Tesla Motors and the former director of Autopilot. Bloomberg reports that the Silicon Valley automaker has sued Sterling Anderson over allegations of stealing confidential information about Autopilot and trying to recruit Tesla employees to his new venture. In the court filing, Tesla says Anderson began work on an autonomous-car venture, Aurora Innovation LLC back in summer when he was head of the Autopilot project. As the director of Autopilot, Anderson would have access to Tesla's semi-autonomous tech. He would leave Tesla in December. Anderson has been collaborating with the former head of Google’s self-driving car project, Chris Urmson. Tesla is seeking a court order barring Anderson from "any use of Tesla’s proprietary information related to autonomous driving." Tesla is also seeking an order banning Anderson and Aurora Innovation from recruiting Tesla employees and contractors for a year after Anderson’s termination date. “Tesla’s meritless lawsuit reveals both a startling paranoia and an unhealthy fear of competition. This abuse of the legal system is a malicious attempt to stifle a competitor and destroy personal reputations. Aurora looks forward to disproving these false allegations in court and to building a successful self-driving business,” Aurora Innovation LLC said in a statement yesterday. Source: Bloomberg
  7. At FCA, amid the backdrop of a proposed merger and its subsequent collapse, a lawsuit has been filed by Reid Bigland, head of the RAM brand and CEO of FCA Canada alleging that FCA has retaliated against Bigland for cooperating in a Federal prob of FCA's sales reporting process. Bigland joined Chrysler in 2006 and in turn took over the reigns of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Dodge, eventually serving as CEO of FCA Canada. The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses FCA of retaliation for not taking the fall for the sales reporting prob. Bigland claims his compensation has fallen by more than 90% and that the sales reporting process under scrutiny was one that he inherited. The probe of FCA's sales reporting started after two dealerships in Illinois filed a lawsuit alleging they were offered cash in return for reporting falsely inflated sales numbers. From that lawsuit, FCA was forced to recount and re-report its previous sales reports. The Security and Exchange Commission continued its investigation and Bigland cooperated. Bigland's position is that the sales reporting methods existed well before he assumed his roles, and he did nothing to change the reporting process already in place. Bigland claims that the SEC tried to settle with some admission of wrong-doing by the company and Bigland. Bigland declined to admit wrong doing and later sent a letter detailing the sales reporting practices to the SEC. Bigland sold his shares in the company in 2018 and he claims that FCA is withholding bonuses to pay for SEC fines if and when they come. For FCA's part they say via Detroit News: We'll have more information as it comes out.
  8. It seems any auto manufacturer that has built a diesel in recent years is getting hit with a lawsuit. The latest one to hit the courts involves Ford and their Super Duty pickups. According to Bloomberg, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ford and supplier Bosch for using emissions-cheating software on the 2011 to 2017 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks. The suit alleges that Ford conspired with Bosch on developing software that would allow the company to alter engine parameters to help emission standards during EPA testing. In the real world, the engines would spew out as much as 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants. The suit alleges 58 violations of state consumer law, false advertising and racketeering claims. “The vehicle’s own on-board diagnostic software indicates emission control system to be operating as Ford intended, even though its real world performance grossly exceeds the standard,” said Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman in the complaint. “All Ford vehicles, including those with diesel engines, comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations. Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices. We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims,” said Daniel Barbosa, a spokesman for Ford to Bloomberg. This comes only a day after Ford announced the specifications for the upcoming F-150 Power Stroke diesel. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  9. As if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles didn't have enough things on its plate, there is talk about the U.S. Justice Department readying a lawsuit over alleged violations of U.S. clean-air rules with their diesel vehicles Bloomberg learned from two sources that the Justice Department is preparing a lawsuit against FCA alleging the company used illegal defeat devices on models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. The defeat devices in question disable emission controls to improve performance. Sources go on to say the lawsuit could be filed this week if negotiations between FCA and the U.S. Government fail to resolve the differences. Back in January, the EPA accused FCA of violating diesel emission standards on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel from 2014 to 2016 model years. The company did not disclose eight different software programs installed on the 3.0L EcoDiesel, which is a violation of the Clean Air Act. Since then, the two have been in negotiations to try and resolve these issues according to a source. “In the case of any litigation, FCA US will defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. The company believes that any litigation would be counterproductive to ongoing discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board,” FCA said in a emailed statement. Spokespeople for the EPA and Justice Department declined to comment. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  10. A group of Shelby GT350 owners are not happy with Ford. Yesterday, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming that the track-ready GT350 isn't. According to filling, owners complain that the vehicle overheats in as little as 15 minutes due faulty transmissions and rear differentials when driven on a track. When the vehicle does overheat, it goes into a limp mode that reduces power to protect the powertrain. The filing goes on to say that Ford fixed this issue in the 2017 model, but told owners of the 2016 model to make the fixes themselves - a possible breach of the car's warranty. “When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm handling the case. “We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its ‘track-ready’ marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hotrod consumers paid for.” At the moment, the lawsuit has four named plaintiffs. Hagens Berman estimates about 4,000 owners are affected by this issue. “Ford is committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles. However, we do not comment on pending litigation,” said Ford spokesman Bradley Carroll to The Detroit News. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News View full article
  11. There is no love lost between Tesla Motors and the former director of Autopilot. Bloomberg reports that the Silicon Valley automaker has sued Sterling Anderson over allegations of stealing confidential information about Autopilot and trying to recruit Tesla employees to his new venture. In the court filing, Tesla says Anderson began work on an autonomous-car venture, Aurora Innovation LLC back in summer when he was head of the Autopilot project. As the director of Autopilot, Anderson would have access to Tesla's semi-autonomous tech. He would leave Tesla in December. Anderson has been collaborating with the former head of Google’s self-driving car project, Chris Urmson. Tesla is seeking a court order barring Anderson from "any use of Tesla’s proprietary information related to autonomous driving." Tesla is also seeking an order banning Anderson and Aurora Innovation from recruiting Tesla employees and contractors for a year after Anderson’s termination date. “Tesla’s meritless lawsuit reveals both a startling paranoia and an unhealthy fear of competition. This abuse of the legal system is a malicious attempt to stifle a competitor and destroy personal reputations. Aurora looks forward to disproving these false allegations in court and to building a successful self-driving business,” Aurora Innovation LLC said in a statement yesterday. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  12. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com UK Law Firm files Lawsuit against VW UK VW Owners Lawsuit A downtown law firm has filed a group class action lawsuit against VW on behalf of a potential 1.2 million TDI owners. To date according the Euro Autonews web site 10,000 have signed on to be represented. VW has taken a very different approach to Europe and with that, more and more countries are demanding compensation equal to what VW is doing in the US. Last year according to the story, a Spanish court found in favor of the owners that the local dealer was also responsible and judged in favor of the TDI owners that the dealerships owed them compensation. As such the Dealers have been told to pay each buyer $5000 Euro's in compensation. This is in addition to what ever they will get from VW as the country negotiates a similar deal like the US. The UK now seems to want to go down this same road also with VW but from the law firm side of things as UK citizens have accused British authorities of being slow to respond and the European Union is taking action against Germany, UK, and five other member states for failure to police emissions testing by the auto industry. Course VW states it will defend itself robustly in the case and that VW owners will not loose out due to the scandal. Course local resell of the auto's is showing a huge hit as is VW sales which are down 7.5% for 2016 at a time when the over all auto sales rose 2% over 2015. At the rate that countries have decided to go after American type settlements with VW. The current 7 countries could potentially bankrupt VW if each country gets similar agreements. After all, the US has only about 1/3 the TDI's that UK has and if VW settles for 14 Billion here, why would it not be a 42 billion settlement in the UK and more elsewhere? The next year to year and half is going to be very interesting for VW.
  13. The past month has been quite strenuous on the relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California. Back in April, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced they would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations set towards the end of President Obama's tenure. The EPA also announced that it was considering revoking California's waiver to set their own emission standards. A few days later, we reported that the officials from the White House, California, and automakers were trying to work out a possible emissions deal to prevent a legal fight. It seems those talks went nowhere as California along with sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have filed suit challenging the rollback. On Tuesday, the collation led by California filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the rollback. This group makes up 40 percent of the U.S. auto market. "The states joining today's lawsuit represent 140 million people who simply want cleaner and more efficient cars. This phalanx of states will defend the nation's clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution," said California Governor Jerry Brown in a statement. The suit alleges that the EPA decision to roll back the regulation lacked any scientific reason. The EPA is also accused of failing to follow its own regulations and violating the Clean Air Act. “This is California saying: You really want war? We’ll give you war. It’s a signal to the administration that they’re not going to get away with anything in this space,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign to the New York Times. According to Reuters, the Department of Transportation has a draft proposal of the changes that is expected to be released to the public later this month. The draft would freeze emission requirements for vehicles at 2020 levels through 2026. The draft also asserts that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 bars California from imposing their own rules, even with the waiver. This proposal has already earned the ire of the public and various members of the U.S. Senate. One Senator, Tom Carper, D-Delaware obtained a copy of the proposal and sent a scathing letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Pruitt. “Such a proposal, if finalized, would harm U.S. national and economic security, undermine efforts to combat global warming pollution, create regulatory and manufacturing uncertainty for the automobile industry and unnecessary litigation, increase the amount of gasoline consumers would have to buy, and runs counter to statements that both of you have made to Members of Congress,” wrote Carper. There is a lot riding on this suit as it could possibly cause the U.S. to have two different emission regulations and automakers having to meet both of them. "Enough is enough. We're not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families' health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them," said Xavier Becerra, California state attorney general. Yesterday, the White House announced that it will be meeting with leaders of the major automakers next week. The meeting will be talking about the planned changes to the fuel efficiency rules. It is expected that automakers will be trying to push the Trump administration and California to agree to a national standard. Source: New York Times, Roadshow, Reuters, (2), U.S. Senate (Carper's Letter) View full article
  14. At FCA, amid the backdrop of a proposed merger and its subsequent collapse, a lawsuit has been filed by Reid Bigland, head of the RAM brand and CEO of FCA Canada alleging that FCA has retaliated against Bigland for cooperating in a Federal prob of FCA's sales reporting process. Bigland joined Chrysler in 2006 and in turn took over the reigns of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Dodge, eventually serving as CEO of FCA Canada. The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses FCA of retaliation for not taking the fall for the sales reporting prob. Bigland claims his compensation has fallen by more than 90% and that the sales reporting process under scrutiny was one that he inherited. The probe of FCA's sales reporting started after two dealerships in Illinois filed a lawsuit alleging they were offered cash in return for reporting falsely inflated sales numbers. From that lawsuit, FCA was forced to recount and re-report its previous sales reports. The Security and Exchange Commission continued its investigation and Bigland cooperated. Bigland's position is that the sales reporting methods existed well before he assumed his roles, and he did nothing to change the reporting process already in place. Bigland claims that the SEC tried to settle with some admission of wrong-doing by the company and Bigland. Bigland declined to admit wrong doing and later sent a letter detailing the sales reporting practices to the SEC. Bigland sold his shares in the company in 2018 and he claims that FCA is withholding bonuses to pay for SEC fines if and when they come. For FCA's part they say via Detroit News: We'll have more information as it comes out. View full article
  15. The tweet that has become Elon Musk's version of Pandora's Box has brought forth a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Today, the SEC accused Musk of securities fraud when he tweeted that he had the funding secured to take Tesla private back in August. "Musk knew or was reckless in not knowing that each of these statements was false and/or misleading because he did not have an adequate basis in fact for his assertions," the SEC wrote in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court today. "Musk's false and misleading public statements and omissions caused significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock and resulting harm to investors." In the complaint, the SEC says the $420 share price was "based on a 20% premium over that day's closing share price because he thought 20% was a 'standard premium' in going-private transactions." At the time, that price would have been $419. The complaint goes on to say "Musk stated that he rounded the price up to $420 because he had recently learned about the number's significance in marijuana culture and thought his girlfriend 'would find it funny, which admittedly is not a great reason to pick a price.'" The SEC is requesting Musk "be prohibited from acting as an officer or director of any issuer that has a class of securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act." This whole mess began on August 7th with Musk tweeting this, This surprised a number of people and brought forth questions as to who would provide the large amount of funding needed for this. About a week later, Musk revealed that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) could provide the necessary funding. This was based on discussions with the fund within the past couple of years. But Musk would pull the plug on this a few weeks after announcing it. "Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,” Musk wrote in a blog post. According to Bloomberg, the SEC was already investigating Tesla for various issues including projection into car sales before Musk made the tweet that brought forth a number of problems. “This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed. I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way,” said Musk in a statement. "Neither celebrity status nor a reputation as a technological innovator provide an exemption from the federal securities laws," Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC's Enforcement Division said during a press conference. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required), Roadshow, SEC (Link to the complaint) View full article

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