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DATE News (chronologically)
03/24/11
automotive
GM and Chrysler sue car-hauler UPDATE A dispute between an auto hauler and the automakers whose cars and trucks it delivers spread Wednesday.

Chrysler Group LLC announced it is suing Georgia-based Allied Holdings Ltd. in Canada to force the hauler to return 700 new vehicles being held at Allied facilities in Windsor, Ontario.

GM filed a similar suit in Detroit on Tuesday.

Chrysler's lawsuit was filed in Ontario Superior Court, Chrysler said in an e-mailed statement.

""We have re-sourced the business to other suppliers and are working to ensure a smooth transition," said Katie Hepler, a Chrysler spokeswoman.

Chrysler won a court order for immediate access to 200 of the vehicles, Hepler said, and "has recovered these vehicles."

The Windsor court will hold a hearing on the recovery of the rest either March 28 or March 29, she said.

The dispute apparently began when the Teamsters union told Allied it wasn't going to accept wage concessions and Allied then sought to increase by 15 percent the amount it was charging automakers.

John Blount, a spokesman for Allied in Atlanta, didn't immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

GM's suit seeks to recover more than 1,700 vehicles that it says are being held "hostage."

U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani set a March 29 hearing in federal court on GM's case. She wants to know why GM shouldn't be given immediate possession of the 1,704 vehicles, which the automaker includes new Chevrolet Silverado pickups and Camaro coupes worth almost $47 million.

Battani said the GM vehicles cannot be damaged, hidden or disposed of while the federal lawsuit is pending. GM believes its vehicles are being held in Dearborn and Fort Wayne, Ind., according to the lawsuit.

Some of the cars and trucks already have been purchased by specific customers, and unless GM is given immediate possession, the vehicles could depreciate in value and dealers would be deprived of valuable inventory, according to the GM lawsuit. Detroit News

03/23/11 General Motors accused a car-hauling company today of holding hostage more than 1,700 vehicles — including brand new Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks and Camaro coupes — worth almost $47 million.

Some of the vehicles already have been purchased by specific customers and unless GM is given immediate possession, the vehicles could depreciate in value and dealers would be deprived of valuable inventory, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

And unless Georgia-based Allied Systems Ltd. returns the vehicles, GM's attempt to win back customers — a major priority since the automaker emerged from bankruptcy — could suffer, according to the lawsuit. GM wants a judge to award the Detroit automaker immediate possession of the vehicles, costs and unspecified damages.

"The calculable damages resulting from Allied's refusal to meet its obligations to return the vehicles to GM will be substantial and … likely beyond the financial ability of Allied to satisfy, further rendering GM without an adequate legal remedy," GM lawyer Daniel Linna wrote in the lawsuit.

Linna declined to comment today when contacted at his Detroit office.

An Allied lawyer could not be reached immediately for comment.

The dispute apparently began when the Teamsters union told Allied it wasn't going to accept wage concessions and Allied then sought to increase by 15 percent the amount it was charging GM. GM declined to pay more.

"Last Thursday Allied Systems ceased providing transportation services to GM. As a result GM took immediate steps to resource the work previously performed by Allied. Allied was in possession of 1,700 vehicles," GM spokesman Dan Flores said.

GM has asked for the vehicles back and Allied has refused to do so, prompting the lawsuit, he said.

The vehicles were on the way to dealers that had ordered them. Detroit News

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