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Elon Musk knew SolarCity was going broke before merger with Tesla, lawsuit alleges

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- When Tesla bought SolarCity in November 2016, Elon Musk billed the deal as a match made in green energy heaven: combine a hot electric car company with the nation's then-largest provider of solar rooftop panels to create a one-stop shop for clean energy customers.

What Musk did not discuss at the time was that SolarCity was in ...Read more

GM striker: 'This is not just about what we do but who we are'

Automotive / Automotive News /

FLINT, Mich. -- Erik Bond is making more bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches in his kitchen at home in Grand Blanc, Mich., these days because, well, he just doesn't know what's going to happen and every single dollar matters.

"We don't ever eat fancy," he said. "But we need to make things simpler. Our stress level has gone up. We're tossing ...Read more

GM strike may stretch out awaiting UAW workers' vote on tentative deal

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The UAW is considering staying on strike against General Motors until rank-and-file members approve a tentative agreement, a process that could add more than a week to the length of the work stoppage, the Free Press has learned.

No deal has been reached yet. Negotiations continued Sunday as the strike reached its seventh day.

Three ...Read more

Judiciary chairman demands answers from Trump on Ford, California investigation

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee wants to know whether President Donald Trump played any role in what has been described as a federal antitrust investigation of Ford and three other auto companies that have made a deal with the state of California on fuel mileage standards.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., on Thursday ...Read more

Under the Hood: Troubleshooting shift to 4WD in F-150

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2013 F-150 4x4 (bought new) with less than 19,000 miles. When I shift into 4-wheel drive under load, such as going up a steep incline, there is a loud bang under the truck. Is this a concern? If I anticipate the shift and make it on the flat preceding a hill, no problem. The nearby dealer's mechanic who checked it out couldn't get it...Read more

California, 13 other states sue Trump over revoking authority to set car emissions standards

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- A coalition of states led by California filed a lawsuit Friday against the Trump administration, challenging its decision to revoke a rule that empowers the state to set tougher car emissions standards than those required by the federal government.

The lawsuit seeks to defend California and the 13 other states that follow its car ...Read more

Carmakers out of sight as Trump starts dismantling mileage rules

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- When President Barack Obama in 2009 announced a plan to bolster the fuel efficiency of cars to record levels, he stood shoulder to shoulder in the White House Rose Garden with chief executives of the largest automakers.

It was a far different scene at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters on Thursday, when Administrator ...Read more

Why some UAW workers think electric truck will save GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- On the picket line Wednesday in front of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, a worker carrying a "UAW on Strike" sign used body language to say he thinks his plant has been a bargaining chip for contract negotiations.

While he offered a quick "No comment," the man pointed to his head, which was nodding a vigorous, "Yes."

Earlier ...Read more

Auto review: Chrysler 300S feels like the olden days

Automotive / Automotive News /

I was excited -- well, maybe excited is a little strong -- but I at least enthusiastically anticipated the chance to pilot the Chrysler 300, a car that had eluded me for eight years of testing. I'd always liked the styling, how it looked like a little kid's drawing of a family car.

It feels like a big blow to Chrysler if I start slamming the ...Read more

UAW leader reports 'some progress'; suppliers start to lay off workers

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- A top UAW official told striking General Motors workers Thursday afternoon that "some progress has been made," but many issues remained unresolved. Meanwhile, the strike began to cause layoffs among suppliers.

Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW's GM Department, said in a letter that talks would continue "this weekend and beyond"...Read more

Amazon taps Rivian to build 100,000 custom electric delivery vans at its Illinois factory, starting in 2021

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- Rivian, the startup electric truck manufacturer, will build 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles exclusively for Amazon beginning in 2021, the companies said Thursday.

The huge order by Amazon represents a previously unrevealed commercial vehicle to be designed and built at Rivian's factory in downstate Normal, alongside the ...Read more

He worked at 3 plants GM shut down. Now he does double picket duty in strike

Automotive / Automotive News /

At 8 a.m. Monday Mike Yakim walked the picket line at General Motors' Lansing, Mich., Delta Township plant.

Less than 48 hours later, Yakim was on the picket line in front of GM's largely vacated Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio, where he had worked for more than eight years before GM idled it in March.

"Since we don't have a lot of people at ...Read more

GM-UAW contract negotiations: Where things stand on day 3 of strike

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors and the UAW returned to bargaining early Wednesday with negotiators buckling down at "all levels."

The parties have been meeting steadily at GM's headquarters in Detroit in an effort to reach a four-year contract agreement as 46,000 union workers enter the third day of a nationwide strike.

Sources close to the talks ...Read more

California governor, attorney general lash out at Trump plan on state's emissions standards

Automotive / Automotive News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday criticized the Trump administration's plan to rescind California's nearly half-century-old authority to impose tough car emissions standards, vowing to take legal action to block the move.

"California will prevail because we're leaders in this space," Newsom said.

Newsom's comments came ...Read more

Trump plans to revoke rule that allows Calif. to set stricter auto pollution standards

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is expected on Wednesday to revoke a decades-old rule that empowers California to set tougher car pollution standards than those required by the federal government -- putting the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a path to years of fighting in court.

The move, which has been in the works ...Read more

Emotional autoworkers cross striking janitors' picket lines in Flint, Mich.

Automotive / Automotive News /

FLINT, Mich. -- In an emotional scene Sunday morning, UAW autoworkers passed picketing janitors represented by the same union just hours after the maintenance workers went on strike in an escalation of already-tense contract talks.

"This isn't what solidarity looks like," one autoworker said as he dropped off food to the janitors before ...Read more

UAW calls national strike against GM, first broad strike since 2007

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The UAW Sunday morning called a nationwide strike against General Motors, set to start at midnight.

It's the first national UAW strike since 2007, when GM workers were out for two days.

The action does not include Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, whose UAW contracts were extended while the union tries to negotiate a deal with GM ...Read more

Mysterious problems disrupt delivery of 2020 Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is quietly shipping thousands of 2020 Ford Explorers and Lincoln Aviators by truck from its Chicago factory to its Flat Rock plant south of Detroit as workers desperately attempt to identify and fix a series of complicated problems in the much-awaited SUVs.

Dealers in different parts of the country confirm they've been...Read more

Ford: Court of Appeals orders review of Focus, Fiesta owners' class-action settlement

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday declined to approve a class-action settlement involving Ford Motor Co. and nearly 2 million owners and former owners of Focus and Fiesta vehicles with defective dual-clutch transmissions known as DPS6.

The judges vacated "final settlement approval" after Public Citizen, a nonprofit ...Read more

Under the Hood: Proper tire inflation is vitally important

Automotive / Automotive News /

I thought I'd do something a little different today. Retirement from my automotive technology teaching job was short-lived, as I missed playing with kids and Monterey Peninsula College had an opening to staff an afternoon introduction to automotive technology class. It's a bit of a drive from the Santa Cruz Mountains, but a pleasant one, and ...Read more