Judge may reject class-action bid
U.S. District Judge Frederick Motz of Baltimore has indicated that he probably will not approve a request for a class-action lawsuit against American Honda Motor Co. More than 60 Honda dealers are suing the carmaker, alleging that the company is responsible for years of management corruption that allowed some dealers to obtain advantages through bribes and kickbacks. Five of the dealers argued that all Honda dealers in America - past and present - should be compensated as a class. Motz is still considering the idea, which would unite most of the claims in a single lawsuit. But if he rejects a class action, Honda would be able to fight or settle all cases one by one.
FIGURES LIE AND... Transplant car production continues to rise in America, and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers recently sent postcards touting that fact. Fine. But the AIAM performs a little visual lie. Against a graph of rising transplant car production from 1985-95, it superimposes a graph showing a downward trend in Big 3 'passenger car' production. The association didn't want to count the Big 3's shift to truck production - up more than 1.3 million from 1985. In the trade debate, nobody likes to tell the whole story.
DRIVES RAISE DOLLARS - BMW of North America Inc. and its dealers have raised almost $400,000 of the $1 million BMW plans to donate to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to build awareness for early breast cancer detection and research. BMW's Drive for the Cure took to the road April 30, near the Komen Foundation's home in Dallas. The drive features two 16-vehicle caravans of specially marked BMWs. The caravans are stopping in about 90 cities where BMW dealers are inviting guests to test-drive the marked BMWs. The Komen Foundation will receive $1 for each mile driven in each fleet car as well as for highway travel between the cities. About 100 of the 225 scheduled dealer-hosted events have been held so far.
FORD REACHES OUT - Ford Motor Co. is in its third year as a national sponsor of Race for the Cure - a series of five-kilometer runs and one-mile runs/walks that also benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. But this year Ford Division and Lincoln-Mercury are sending information about the sponsorship to 800 dealers in cities where the 78 race events are being held. Dealers are being encouraged to join the community effort at a time when the company is trying to expand its reach to women. Videos remind dealers that an estimated $83 billion in automotive sales are made to women annually. To date, Ford has raised more than $1 million for the breast cancer research, education and treatment effort.
LUNG LINE - In a print ad that started running last Friday, July 25, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. crows about the engine that powers its 1998 Accord LX and EX models. The cars meet California's low-emission vehicle standard, which is 70 percent lower for nonmethane organic gases than is required by federal standards. The opening line of Honda's ad says, 'For a change, we'd like to talk about your air bags.'