Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a motion Friday to dismiss General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit against the company. In a sweeping suit filed in November, GM claimed that its smaller rival secured an unfair advantage in labor costs by bribing UAW officials during key contract negotiations covering wages and benefits. The suit alleges that Sergio Marchionne, the late FCA CEO, wanted to hurt GM in an effort to force a merger between the two companies. Marchionne, the suit says, “formally solicited GM for a merger” in the spring of 2015, an offer that was rejected. From there, the suit alleges that Marchionne orchestrated and negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that was “designed, through the power of pattern bargaining, to cost GM billions.”
Ford Motor Co. has proposed a $30 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit regarding faulty transmissions Focus and Fiesta vehicles it no longer sells in the U.S. Multiple lawsuits, including a class-action suit that began in April 2017, have been filed on behalf of car owners unhappy with the transmissions, known internally as the DPS6. Dual-clutch gearboxes like the DPS6 typically shift rougher than other automatic gearboxes to which North American drivers are accustomed. The Ford transmissions also needed frequent repairs for quality issues the developed over time with the clutch and clutch seals, among other things.
Last week, the legislature heard a proposal to mandate a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in Washington state, which is designed to reduce transportation-related CO2 emissions. Oregon and California have already adopted a similar rule, and their experience demonstrates that an LCFS has high costs both for consumers and for those who care about reducing CO2 emissions effectively. My one-minute testimony outlined, quickly, these two concerns.
Oklahoma lawmakers could consider regulating drones on a state level when they return to session next month. Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Vic Bird said the proposed legislation is based on North Carolina’s regulation of unmanned aircraft systems. The bill filed by state Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, would implement a test and permitting system for commercial drone operators, but Bird said the final language would not contain those requirements. The Federal Aviation Administration has warned states against creating a separate registration process.
Editorial: Washington State DOT wants lawmakers to remove congestion relief as a transportation policy goal (HB2688/SB6398)
This week, WSDOT leadership testified before the House Committee on Transportation in support of House Bill 2688, which removes the goal of congestion relief from the state’s transportation policy goals and replaces the rest. The agency said the bill supports its strategic plan, pictured in the above diagram. House Bill 2688 and its companion, Senate Bill 6398, remove and replace existing goals with redefined and expanded policy goals that include: accessibility, safety, environment and climate, health and resilience, equity and environmental justice, preservation, and economic vitality. These bills also establish vague, qualitative metrics, and attempt to prohibit legislative authority in funding transportation projects, instead requiring all transportation projects be vetted and scored by multiple state agencies in accordance with the new goals and metrics. This represents bad policy on many levels.