NADA Headlines - 05/19/2017 (Plain Text Version)

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$553 Million Accord for U.S. Drivers Over Takata Airbags

The legal battle over the deadly flaws in Takata airbags moved a step closer to resolution on Thursday when four automakers agreed to compensate owners of recalled cars. Under a proposed settlement in a class-action case, Toyota, BMW, Subaru and Mazda are set to pay a total of $553 million to current and former owners and lessees of 15.8 million vehicles. The money is meant to reimburse them for car rentals or other expenses — like lost wages, towing charges or child care — incurred while waiting for their cars to be repaired. The agreement, filed in United States District Court in Miami, is subject to court approval.

But the process of fixing the tens of millions of cars equipped with the rupture-prone airbags will drag on for years. Replacement parts remain in short supply, and many consumers have been unresponsive to recall notices.

Doug Waikem, owner of a Subaru franchise and six other dealerships in Massillon, Ohio, said the scope of the problem was hard to fathom. About 21,000 cars sold by his dealerships alone need replacement airbags, and part deliveries are sporadic. When a shipment is due, his staff contacts owners by phone, email or letter to encourage them to come in. “A lot of people here just don’t respond,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”
Source: The New York Times

U.S. Seeks to Shift Trade Tides as It Starts NAFTA Overhaul

President Donald Trump’s administration took its first formal step toward renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, setting the stage for talks that could have a major impact on automakers and suppliers. The Association of Global Automakers issued a statement supporting the Trump administrations effort to update NAFTA: “The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a success for both the country and the auto industry. While it has fostered economic integration throughout the region and enhanced our economic competitiveness, we recognize the need to modernize the agreement to address technological changes to better meet new market demands."
Source: Automotive News / Bloomberg
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Wall Street Is Freaking Out about a 'Motown Slowdown' But the US Auto Industry Is Actually in Fantastic Shape

Downturns are inevitable, but in the auto industry, the severity of the downturn is affected by lots of economic factors. If overall demand tops out, but the unemployment rate is low and the country isn't in a recession — and gas is cheap, and credit is abundant — the downturn will be moderate and Detroit will continue to bring in fat profits.
Source: Business Insider
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Fiat Chrysler Shares Drop on U.S. Diesel Emissions Probe

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV shares fell 1 percent in U.S. trading on Thursday on reports the Justice Department is preparing to file a civil suit against the automaker for selling 104,000 vehicles that emit excess diesel emissions. Reuters reported on Wednesday the Justice Department may file a suit under the Clean Air Act as early as this week if no agreement is reached with the Italian-American automaker.
Source: Reuters
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Karma Automotive Begins Shipping $130,000 Revero Plug-In Hybrid to Eight U.S. Dealerships

Five years after curtailing production, the most expensive plug-in hybrid electric vehicle on the market is making its way back to showrooms across the country. Karma Automotive shipped the first 10 units of its first and only model, the $130,000 Karma Revero luxury super car, last Friday. If the nameplate sounds familiar, that’s because its predecessor, the Fisker Karma, enjoyed a brief production run as a 2012 model...
Source: Forbes.com
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American Red Cross Seeks Sponsors, Volunteers to Install Home Smoke Alarms in 100 Cities

This fall, the American Red Cross is planning to install 100,000 free smoke alarms in high-risk homes in 100 U.S. cities through its “Sound the Alarm. Save a Life” campaign, which runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 15, 2017. Each year the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, which are mostly home fires. On average, seven people – mostly children and the elderly – die each day from a home fire and 36 people suffer injuries; and more than $7 billion in property damage occurs every year.

To achieve its goal of reducing fire-related deaths and injuries by 25% in 2020, the Red Cross is asking local businesses to get involved through sponsorships, volunteerism and raising awareness through traditional and digital/social media outreach. For a detailed plan on how to get involved in your community, send an email to Amanda Lepof, executive director of corporate programs, Red Cross, at amanda.lepof@redcross.org.
Source: American Red Cross / NADA
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