Legal File

Volvo, Autoliv deepen self-driving ties with Nvidia

Volvo and Autoliv are deepening their ties with chipmaker Nvidia to develop advanced systems and software for the fast-growing self-driving car sector. Volvo believes the move will help it meet its goal of having an autonomous vehicle on the road by 2021.

'Most-American' car ranking gets makeover -- and only three vehicles qualify

Think “American-made” doesn't mean what it used to? You're right, at least if you're talking about how to define the world's “Most-American” vehicles.

Fraud claim revived against Illinois store

A Chicago-area Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealership will be spending more time in court over a claim it committed fraud when it sold a Dodge Charger as new despite repair work to the roof.

Markup checks bring charges

The former general manager of Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler dealerships in Jasper, Ala., faces prison, a $250,000 fine and $914,000 in restitution if convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud in an alleged scheme to rip off the stores.

Toyota's massive repair job

A proposed legal settlement to replace rusting truck frames will translate into complex shop work for Toyota dealers.

Dealership group loses suit over Volvo incentive plan

Dealers often complain about incentive programs that favor exclusive dealerships over ones that share space with other brands. But a dealership group that sued over such unequal treatment has had its day in court, and lost.

Dealership challenge foiled by letter of the law

When Rick Case Maserati applied to open a new point in Davie, Fla., nearby competitor Maserati of Fort Lauderdale wasn't pleased. So it filed a protest with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Now, after multiple legal battles, the Fort Lauderdale store has given up its fight.

Plea deal promises inside look at VW plot

The federal indictment of a Volkswagen engineer - and his agreement to cooperate with prosecutors under a plea deal - could finally unravel the mystery of how VW managed to fool the world about its “clean diesel” engines for at least seven years.

Court paves way for Indiana store to move

Indiana dealership Ed Martin Toyota successfully fought off a prolonged bid by three rival stores to block its relocation. Now it's prepping for fast construction of a store at its new site in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers, with plans to open in about a year. The protest went all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court before ending in June.

Saleen under siege

A large Ford dealership in Texas is suing Saleen Automotive, alleging fraud and breach of contract, and another dealership says it's having similar problems getting the customizer to deliver a supercharged Mustang that was promised and paid for long ago.

Texas court upholds retailer's victory in suit against Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz USA remains on the hook to a Harlingen, Texas, dealership for $15.3 million in compensatory damages, plus interest, stemming from its secret assignment of a new point near the area where it knew the store's purchaser was looking to relocate. But an added jury award of $115 million in punitive damages should be slashed to $600,000, the Texas Court of Appeals has ruled.

Altima deal was 'bad bargain,' but Nissan dealer disclosed terms, court rules

While a Nissan dealership in Wallingford, Conn., engaged in the “shamelessly admitted practice” of inflating the sales price of a new Altima to offset a discount it gave for a trade-in, the practice doesn't violate the Truth in Lending Act, a federal judge in New Haven ruled last month in tossing a buyer's lawsuit against the dealership.

Why judge tossed Darvish suit out

Judge Robert Greenberg, of the circuit court for Montgomery County, Md., ruled Darvish’s case lacked evidence to support her claims that her father made and then reneged on verbal promises that she would inherit a third of his business. She also had charged that her half-brothers, who now run the company, shut her out.

DARCARS: A succession plan gone awry

Many family-owned dealerships have opaque succession plans. In DARCARS' case, the issue, which had simmered unresolved for years, eventually led to a lawsuit filed by Tamara Darvish against DARCARS, now run by her half brothers, and her father. Last week, a judge threw out that lawsuit. Here's the story behind the suit and the judge's decision.

Essentially, store investor was a dealer, judge says

When does a prospective dealer meet the legal definition of “dealer” and thus become entitled to protection from manufacturers under federal and Arizona law? There's no precise formula to answer that question, a federal judge in Phoenix said.