LaSorda Hits Cost of Litigation
Lawsuits are adding $500 to the
cost of every car and truck sold in the
"Perhaps a little blue-collar
grounding and manufacturing common sense could go a long way in making sense of
LaSorda said he was prompted to look at the high cost of the American legal system during his drive to cut costs within the Chrysler Group, which has eliminated 40,000 jobs since 2001. "It was the one area where costs kept rising and I asked why," he said.
What he found was that the legal system, which he says allows witnesses in product liability cases to tell only part of the truth, is badly in need of reform. In many states, juries aren't allowed to hear whether someone involved in an accident was wearing a seatbelt or if they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"We need to set some reasonable
and fair limits on damages," he added. "For every dollar awarded in tort
liability, the typical injured party receives only about 46 cents to compensate
them for injuries. That means the majority of every dollar goes elsewhere,"
added LaSorda, who noted that lawsuits have become one of fastest growing
industries in the
LaSorda also said, "There is no
question that the employer-based healthcare system is broken. While other
countries have found a way to help their businesses with the burden, we've not
done this in the
OnStar Readies New Service
General Motors Corp. used the tenth anniversary of OnStar's introduction back in 1996 to bring on a new service that offers drivers directions through the car's audio system. The new system will eliminate the need for video screens and helps the driver keep his eyes firmly on the road, according to Chet Huber, OnStar President. Users call an OnStar advisor and ask for directions. In turn, the advisor, using GPS, sends the most direct, step-by-step directions to the vehicle via the OnStar system. Audio directions are then played through the vehicle's stereo system when they are needed even if the driver is playing the radio or a CD. A small display on the instrument cluster also can be used to relay text directions. The system also will automatically issue corrective instructions if the vehicle strays off course. Huber said GM believes the new system will appeal to consumers who already depend on OnStar for peace of mind. GM is prepared to equip as many as one million new vehicles with the turn-by-turn technology at the start of the 2007 model year later this year, Huber said. The system uses an enhanced wireless data network and improved positioning technology. -Joseph Szczesny
Humvee Out, International MXT In the Army?
A quiet revolution is underway in
the sourcing of military vehicles and the International Truck & Engine Corp.
York: GM Should Drop Saab,
HUMMER by Joseph Szczesny
Company has 1000 days of cash left, Kerkorian's wingman says.
MotorWeek Gives Civic the Nod
The Honda Civic walked away with "Best of Year" award from MotorWeek, the weekly PBS show that bills itself as television's "Original Automotive Magazine." John Davis of MotorWeek said that "the suite of Civics" that Honda brought out last fall were "the right vehicle for the right time." The Honda Civic also walked off with a Drivers' Choice award from MotorWeek as the Best Small Car, while the Hyundai Sonata was named the best family sedan. The Honda Odyssey was named the best minivan while the Pontiac Solstice was named the best convertible and the Infiniti M was named the best luxury sedan. The Ford Mustang was named the best peformance car and the Toyota RAV4 was named the best small sport-utility vehicle, while the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer walked off with a Driver's Choice Award as the best family sport-utility vehicle. The Ford F-150 was named the best pickup truck; the Toyota Highlander Hybrid was named the best eco-friendly vehicle; and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe, and Ferrari F430 were named the best dream machines. -Joe Szczesny