The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Toyota have come to a $1.2 billion settlement agreement that will end a four year investigation into the inadvertent acceleration of certain Toyota vehicles. During a new conference on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the automobile manufacturer for misleading consumers through statements regarding the two issues that caused sudden acceleration in certain models. Continue reading

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be unveiling new regulations on Monday, that will force oil refineries to remove sulfur from all gasoline sold in the United States. The new rule will require oil refiners to install new equipment to remove the sulfur and will force automobile manufacturers to install new, cleaner burning engine technology. EPA officials say that removing the smog forming pollutant will reduce the rates of diseases associated with those pollutants and will only slightly raise the price of gasoline and cars. They estimate that the new regulation will raise the cost of gasoline by about two-thirds of 1 cent per gallon and add approximately $75 to the sticker price of cars. Continue reading

Controversial supplier contract purchasing terms adopted by General Motors last year, will be changed by the automobile manufacturer after suppliers say that the terms expose them to greater warranty liability. Although the new terms and conditions applied to only new purchase contracts, supplier executives and attorneys said they were uncomfortable with elements of the new contract. The new terms and conditions extended the automaker’s rights giving GM more authority to recover warranty and safety recall costs, to acquire suppliers’ intellectual property rights, and to access their financial information. Continue reading

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), and automobile manufacturers, are discussing an agreement that will give automobile owners the choice of where to take their vehicle for repair. The decision would be a victory for aftermarket groups who have been fighting for over a decade to ensure that vehicle repair is affordable and convenient for all Americans. Continue reading

Japanese auto parts maker, Takata Corporation, is the latest parts manufacturer to be charged in one of the largest criminal antitrust investigations, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The inquiry into price-fixing auto parts between worldwide manufacturers began back in January 2000 and is estimated to have resulted in more than $1.6 billion in fines since 2011. The investigation covers over a dozen separate conspiracies involving over thirty different auto parts affecting Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Continue reading

Due to the federal government shutdown, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have announced that they will be forced to close several branches of the agency and cut back on over fifty percent of their employees. While functions funded by the Highway Trust Fund will continue; defect investigations, field crash investigations, review of consumer complaints, and notifications of new vehicle and equipment recalls will all be suspended. Continue reading