This week GM feels the pressure from thousands of unhappy workers, while Nissan also feels the pinch from NHTSA scrutiny and Volkswagen feels the wrath of customers in the wake of the emissions scandal. As always, we’re here to bring you the biggest news in the Auto Industry.
GM Strike Continues
The United Auto Workers strike by some 46,000 GM workers continues into its fourth week, as reported CNBC. The resulting production slowdown is having a knock-on effect at GM plants elsewhere, with 6,000 workers in Mexico and some 10,000 non-UA workers in the USA being furloughed in the past few weeks. Canadian plants have also been affected. The company’s stock is down 10% in the weeks since the strike began, and it’s estimated that GM has lost about 153,000 units of production in the same period. As Forbes reports, the UAW made concessions when GM was having difficulties after the 2008-9 financial crisis, and is now looking for some movement in return, especially since GM is now succeeding again after posing record profits of $35 Billion in 2015.
Nissan in Hot Water Over Faulty Braking
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Nissan after receiving over 800 complaints about the Nissan Rogue’s automatic safety braking system. As Bloomberg reports, the Rogue’s automatic braking system has been activating for no apparent reason, when the road ahead is completely clear. The NHTSA said there have been 14 reported crashes and 5 injuries because of the malfunction. The investigation covers more than 55,000 Nissan Rogue.
In response, Nissan said it has been consulting with the NHTSA and has offered customers a free upgrade to the Rogue’s internal computer which improves the issue. In a statement, the company said, “Nissan is committed to the safety and security of our customers and their passengers.”
Waymo to Expand to LA
Waymo, the self-driving car startup by Google’s Alphabet, is set to expand into Los Angeles. As The Verge reports, Waymo will bring Chevy Pacifica minivans to the city – the first self-driving cars to be tested in LA. All of the cars will have human safety drivers. The company said in a statement on Twitter that it wants to see how its tech “might fit into LA’s dynamic transportation environment and complement the City’s innovative approach to transportation.”
Volkswagen Lawsuit Begins in Germany
Over 450,000 Volkswagen customers in Germany have taken the carmaker to court. Proceedings started this past Monday after VW rejected a plea by judges to try and settle the case out of court. As the BBC reports, Volkswagen has adopted a defiant stance, saying, “The vehicles are driven by hundreds of thousands of customers every day, which is why we believe there is no damage and therefore no cause for complaint.” The trial is unlikely to be resolved quickly, with some commentators suggesting it will take years to resolve.
Rare Car Collection set to be Auctioned Next Year
The car collection of Paul Walker – the star of The Fast and The Furious who lost his life in a car wreck in 2013 – is set to be sold off. CNN reports that 21 of Walker’s cars will be auctioned in Scottsdale in January next year. For sale will be a number of BMW M3s, a 1989 Nissan Skyline and a 2009 Nissan 370Z that was used in the filming of The Fast and the Furious 5. Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of auction house Barrett-Jackson said in a statement to CNN, “We’re proud to help continue Paul Walker’s legacy by offering his esteemed collection to their new caretakers at our flagship Scottsdale event.”