GM Sues FCA

November 21, 2019

General Motors Co. announced the filing of a federal racketeering lawsuit against FCA and former FCA executives who have pled guilty in an ongoing federal corruption probe. The lawsuit, filed Nov. 21, claims to expose “a multi-year pattern of corruption that FCA used to undermine the integrity of the collective bargaining process and cause GM substantial damages.”

In a press release, GM stated at the core of this lawsuit are “clear admissions of wrongdoing made by former FCA executives revealed through the continuing criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan.

“This lawsuit is intended to hold FCA accountable for the harm its actions have caused our company and to ensure a level playing field going forward,” said Craig Glidden, GM executive vice president and general counsel.

GM accuses FCA of corrupting the 2009 collective bargaining agreement, as well as the 20011 and 2015 agreements, causing harm to GM.

FCA issued a brief response to the GM statement on its website:

“We are astonished by this filing, both its content and its timing. We can only assume this was intended to disrupt our proposed merger with PSA as well as our ongoing negotiations with the UAW. We intend to vigorously defend against this meritless lawsuit and pursue all legal remedies in response to it.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced a consumer protection lawsuit against a former used car dealership and its owner alleging the dealership failed to deliver vehicle titles to customers in central Ohio.

“This guy accepted money from trusting customers but never gave them their titles, refunds or an explanation,” Yost said. “He chose to take the low road and it’s led him straight to the courthouse.”

The lawsuit accuses Stephen Urell of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act. His used car dealership, Your Car, was located in Columbus.

 Consumers reported 22 complaints to the attorney general’s office, saying they never received titles for vehicles purchased at the dealership. Yost’s Consumer Protection Section provided payments totaling $50,082 from the Title Defect Recision Fund, a program that helps used car buyers resolve title problems.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement from Urell, as well as civil penalties and an order preventing him from holding a dealer or salesperson license in Ohio.

Carfax filed a complaint in U.S. District Court as part of an ongoing effort to stop businesses from illegally accessing its data. The suit was filed against Primeritus Financial Services, Inc. Primeritus is one of several companies that Carfax has identified as violating its terms and conditions of use associated with the consumer-facing myCARFAX service. The myCARFAX service is specifically designed for personal use by individual vehicle owners to help better track their service history and be alerted to open recalls.

“Trust and integrity are paramount to Carfax,” said Julie Ortmeier, Carfax general counsel. “We will continue our efforts to protect our data. We have already taken action against several companies that have misused our products and services and we will take action against others who do the same.”

Carfax Files Suit

October 25, 2019

Carfax filed a complaint this month as a first step toward stopping businesses from illegally accessing its data. The suit was filed against Patrick K. Willis Co., Inc., doing business as American Recovery Service. It’s one of several companies that Carfax has identified as violating its terms and conditions of use associated with the consumer-facing myCARFAX service.

The myCARFAX service is specifically designed for personal use by individual vehicle owners to help better track their service history and be alerted to open recalls. CARFAX offers several other tools to help businesses utilize vehicle history through legitimate business accounts.

“Our data is at the core of our business,” said Julie Ortmeier, Carfax general counsel. “When we discover someone is misusing our data, we will take action.”

Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America have entered into an agreement to resolve class action litigation with owners of certain vehicles equipped with Theta II gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines. This agreement will provide various cash compensation options, lifetime warranties, free inspection and repair of the covered engines, and installation of a software update Hyundai and Kia introduced after the case was filed to enhance safety and address this engine’s performance. It also provides additional remedies to address engine concerns and assist customers with these vehicles.

Vehicles in the settlement include 2.3 million Hyundai (2011-19 Sonata, 2013-18 Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Santa Fe, and 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019 Tucson) and 1.8 million Kia (2011-19 model year Sportage, Sorento and Optima) vehicles with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter GDI engines.

Terms of the settlement include:

  • Cash reimbursement for certain past repairs and related expenses, such as towing and rental cars;
  • Cash compensation for certain past trade-ins, sales, and in lieu of certain repairs;
  • Free inspection and repair or replacement of damaged engines;
  • Lifetime warranty coverage for short block assembly repairs for original and subsequent owners;
  • Free installation of the knock sensor detection system software update;
  • Various goodwill compensation for customers inconvenienced by previous lengthy engine repair times, denied warranty coverage, and vehicle loss of value, among other provisions.

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