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News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Good News From The Supremes

On April 2, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Hector Navarro, finding that Service Advisors at auto dealerships are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime pay requirement. That means that, under the FLSA, automotive dealerships need not pay their Service Advisors time-and-one-half for hours worked beyond forty hours in a workweek.

Take Me For a Test Drive: Auto Dealers and Hand Controls – How Much Accommodation is Too Much Accommodation?

In Karczewski v. DCH Mission Valley, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the district court’s dismissal of an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III claim regarding the availability of temporary hand controls in vehicles for test drives. This was one of many related cases by the same law firm against local car dealers for lack of available hand controls. Those cases include Karczewski v. K Motors, Inc., 14-cv-2701, Karczewski v. DCH Mission Valley, LLC, 14-cv-2639, Karczewski v.

Self-Driving Car Crash Lawsuits Are Officially Up and Running

Drivers, start your litigation. GM is understood to be the first autonomous car maker sued over an accident allegedly caused by a self-driving car. The case addresses an incident involving a motorcyclist and the execution of a lane change that occurred in San Francisco in December while a Cruise Automation 2016 Chevrolet Bolt was in self-driving mode. There are already conflicting accounts of the incident, which was reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the San Francisco Police Department at the time of the accident.

Tesla Turns On Its Dell Defense

PCs just got a popularity boost in Silicon Valley. In a recent ruling involving corporate control in major transactions, the Delaware Supreme Court found that Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell was not a controlling shareholder in the company’s $25 billion take-private deal. So what does Dell have to do with Tesla? Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity Corp is facing a shareholder challenge in which Elon Musk’s role and power at Tesla is a central question.

Slow and Steady Wins the Direct Sales Race

While their cars can go from zero to 60mph in less than 2 seconds, Tesla's legal battles and direct sales progress will continue to be slow-going. While the electric car maker has earned some important wins in cases that stretch over numerous states, they have experienced mixed results overall. Central to all of these cases are state laws banning direct-to-consumer car sales and similar limitations on direct distribution. In particular, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, and Utah will be states to watch in 2018 due to their high-profile, ongoing court battles.

Cox Brings the Heat in Collusion Case Against CDL

The major automotive dealership vendor is running a full court press. Cox Automotive has sued CDK Global for anti-competitive behavior intended to eliminate competition in dealership data integration, breach of contract, engaging in unfair trade practices, and the defamation of Cox. Cox announced the suit on its website, with the complaint citing “immense” damage to the automotive industry. Settle in, this game will probably go into overtime.

Arent Fox Secures Victory on Behalf of New York Maserati Dealers

New York, NY — Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce the firm secured a favorable decision on behalf of three New York Maserati dealerships. On November 10, New York Administrative Law Judge Walter Zulkoski of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles ruled that both Maserati’s new proposed dealer agreement and its new Commercial Policy Bonus Program are prohibited and a direct violation of the state’s law.  

Arent Fox Negotiates Exceptional Carve-Out Settlement on Behalf of Volkswagen Dealer

New York, NY – Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce that the firm negotiated an exceptional carve-out on behalf of Volkswagen dealer Palisades Volkswagen in a nationwide VW dealer diesel scandal class action settlement – the largest ever of its kind. On January 23 the court approved a modified settlement carving out Palisades’ claims from the class action settlement regarding the diesel scandal. This is a win not just for Palisades, but for all VW dealers holding non-diesel related claims against VW.