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Legal Cases of Automobile Industry

Saurabh Chauhan-109 Nirmit Sehgal-105 Bhuwan Chopra-90 Rakshet Sharma-71 Jatin Aneja-120

Introduction:Automobile industry
One of the largest markets in the world India's passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturing industry is the sixth largest in the world after overtaking brazil, with an annual production of more than 3.9 million units in 2011. As of 2010, India is home to 40 million passenger vehicles According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, annual vehicle sales are projected to increase to 4 million by 2015

Toyota Case
Toyota recalled millions of vehicles in 2009 and 2010 related to charges that throttles could jam in the open position. Toyota created a fund for retrofitting 3.2 million Toyota and Lexus cars with technology that made them easier to stop in a panic situation, as part of the settlement in a U.S. District Court case that sought class-action status. Owners of models that were not retrofitted received cash payouts. And those who sold their vehicles in late 2009 and all of 2010 were eligible for compensation due to lowered resale value due to the issue. In all, the company said the agreement affected 16 million owners of vehicles with electronic throttle controls, whether or not they were part of the recalls. Toyota maintained that the bulk of unintended acceleration cases were due to floor mats that slid underneath accelerators and became trapped and not the result of electronic defects in the cars' engine computers. After years of litigation and probes, Toyota committed a $1.1 billion settlement to resolve lawsuits alleging "unintended acceleration" in some Toyota and Lexus models.

Maruti-Suzuki manesar case

On 18 july 2012,auto factory workers in marutis manesar plant attacked supervisors and started a fire that killed a company official and injured 100 managers including 2 japanes expatriates. The attack was allegedly influenced by: A caste slur by a supervisor against a worker. And failed negotiations about employee regularization. The company has faced several incidents of employee protest but never of such scale and violence. This incident was the worst ever for suzuki since it began its operations in india in 1983. The violence at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant in July was not instigated from outside, but was due to internal issues between management and workers,

Chargesheets were being filed against 145 persons and a total of 300 witnesses were interviewed to file the report, which runs into 3,000 pages. The main charges included murder, attempt to murder and destruction of property. A total of over 140 workers, including leaders of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, were arrested by the police. The company declared a lockout at the plant on July 21 and was lifted on August 21. During the lockout the overall production loss was pegged at around Rs 1,400 crore.

Singur land case: Tata Motors moved apex court

Tata won the singur land case In a major blow to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Calcutta High Court ruled in favour of Tata Motors, holding the Singur Act as unconstitutional and void. The Act empowered the West Bengal Government to reclaim nearly 1,000 acres at the abandoned Tata Motors factory in Singur and returning part of the 997-acre Nano plot to unwilling farmers. Tata Motors was given 997 acres at Singur, when the Left front government was in power, to manufacture the worlds cheapest car Nano by acquiring land from 13,000 farmers, of which 2,000 refused to accept the compensation and demanded their 400 acres back. After coming to power in May 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had the Singur Act passed in the Assembly as one of her governments first major legislations.

She passed a Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 which allowed her to recover the land under dispute and redistribute about 400 acres to farmers who were originally reluctant to part with their land for the Tata project At that time Tata Motors had said it was not possible to build a factory and ancillaries on 600 acres. Holding Trinamool Congress responsible for driving out the Nano project from Singur, Tata Motors had accused the state of trying to over-reach the judicial process and forcibly taking back the land, which was legitimately allotted to the company by the Left Front government.

The judges, said the Singur Act has been held void as the Presidents assent was not taken. The court has, however, given the West Bengal government two months to appeal in the Supreme Court.

The Trinamool Congress, which was then the main opposition in West Bengal, had demanded return of 400 acre to farmers unwilling to give land for the project.
Tata Motors had moved to Sanand in Gujarat in 2008 citing law and order problems, but had kept possession of the leased land at Singur.