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Union voices at the Tennessee Volkswagen Plant can be historic

Volkswagen Chattanooga starts serial production of Atlas 2018.
Photo: VW
The Morning Shift All your daily car news in a single place. Isn't your time more important?

Volkswagen workers are possibly unionizing, back seat safety belts and a death load action. All this and more in the morning shift on Friday 14th. June 2019.

1. Gear: To unionize or not?

United Auto Workers Union has significant influence in Detroit, representing employees of General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford. But with foreign car manufacturers, not so much. Workers at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant may soon change it.

This week, the workers will vote to unite. If votes for unionization go through, they will be the first factory to do so with UAW in the South, Reuters reports, and the first in the United States outside of the big tree. Mercedes, Toyota, BMW and Nissan have all resisted attempts to unite their plants in the South, backed by anti-union rights to labor laws. (Jalopnik is proudly a union, we and our sister sites are represented by Writers Guild of America East.)

The Volkswagen plant, which currently produces Passat and Atlas, will see 1,700 workers who will vote. In 2014, employees voted against unionization, but with a small margin, Reuters reports; Any success this time would be the biggest UAW gain this year.

Those who support unionization say that there are "salmon health and safety procedures, quality of life problems such as constant last-minute changes in planning, insufficient vacation time and small bonuses."

Those who oppose say it is because of UAWs federal corruption investigation. It's a just concern!

"Corruption has been a problem for the UAW," said Menendez, a team leader on the line who made $ 23.50 an hour. "They are more interested in their own business than taking care of people."

Voice started Wednesday and ends tonight.

2. Gear: Avoid the back seat if you can

For a very long time, the back seat of a car has been considered safer than the front. We put our children there. Older. Babies. But now a new study shows that the back seat is not the safest place anymore.

This difference comes down to the seat belts. Advances in seat belt technology are well underway, but have not always made it to the seat belt back seat, the New York Times reports. From the story:

If ties with this better technology are not available on the back seat, people 55 and older should sit in the front of newer vehicles with the more sophisticated belts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Researchers say that seat belts in most rear seats lack these so-called load limiters, which means that they cannot loosen. So, in a front crash, the belt itself can cause chest, abdominal or spinal injuries, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The researchers examined front crashes that killed or seriously injured 117 back seats from 6 to 92 years.

This is especially important when it comes to riding companies such as Uber and Lyft, where people usually sit in the back. The IIHS says it hopes to have a back seat collision test by 2022, as it is currently not one. When that happens, it can spur car manufacturers to focus more on back seat safety.

Times tell us that the back seat "did not become more dangerous. The front seats continued to be safer." Skip to the play, see which current models have cargo limiters and biasing for the rear seats.

3. Gear: Death Wobble

You've heard of the death wobble, yes? It is a phenomenon that usually occurs in fixed axles such as Jeeps, a "brutal and cumbersome swing of the front wheels, which is usually begun by a bump or in some cases with a hard stamp on the brake pedal" as our own Jeepspert David Tracy wrote a while ago . It's quite familiar with the Jeep community, and now FCA is facing a class action lawsuit. Good.

The suit includes 2015 to 2018 Jeep Wranglers and was filed Wednesday in Detroit's US District Court for Eastern District of Michigan, according to Detroit News. It is alleged that:

Fiat Chrysler had knowledge of the problem: "Instead of addressing it – or revealing the opportunity and / or warning at the point of sale, FCA claims only in a news article that" Death Wobble "is not a" security issue ", and that it could happen to a vehicle that has a solid front axle (rather than an independent front suspension), such as Wrangler. "

Litigation, filed on behalf of Claire Reynolds, a New Jersey resident who owns a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4×4, accusing the company of offering drivers a "Band-Aid fix" in the form of swapping joysticks if the car is under warranty.

The suit claims that the problem eventually comes back and can only be solved by extensive audits and repairs to the suspension. Reynolds claims that the damper was replaced three times in six months, and the front of the Jeep continued to shake.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for affected drivers in the form of a buyback program that requires the FCA to pay motorists to defective vehicles and compensation for the loss of value to the vehicles. It also wants drivers to be equipped with replacement wagons while their repairs are waiting.

The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages "for FCAs to know fraud that put drivers and members of the public nation at risk", requires regulators to order the company

FCA told the withdrawal that it had not been served with the clothes and therefore did not could comment on the allegations, but noted that "some manufacturer vehicles equipped with a solid shaft may experience the steering system vibration and, if experienced, routinely corrected."

4. Gear: Boredom

From the little I have experienced behind the rear wheel of Tesla's Autopilot and GM's Super Cruise, one of the problems is boredom. When the first news wears off, you find yourself boring on the wheel, as most of what you need to do (steering, braking, gassing and gassing) is no longer needed. That boredom is only going to be more widespread as autonomy advances and becomes more widespread.

To keep drivers and other passengers in the car entertained, Nissan, Audi and others will use virtual reality experiences and talk cartoon characters, according to Reuters. I'm not quite sure how to feel about this yet, but the boy tells me it might not be a good idea!

From the story:

"When customers don't have to drive anymore … then the question is what kind of things we can offer customers in this car," Boris Meiners, senior director of Audi China's digital business and customer experience, told Reuters on the sidelines of the CES Asia Technology Trade Show in Shanghai this week.

For example, the startup guide, co-founded by an Audi subsidiary, demonstrated on the show how it will make driving directions to virtual reality (VR) experiences, allowing passengers to swim with whales or through sunken ships in the deep sea while on a drive.

When the car accelerates or steers sideways, the movements logged by a computer installed in the car's suitcase which adjusts the passenger's vision in the VR are therefore protected. It also prevents the passenger from experiencing motion sickness.

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan showed a set of goggles for drivers and passengers that could provide real-time information and project a talking cartoon character communicating with the user.

Sure, everything sounds good, but we're nowhere close to enough to get fully autonomous cars on the road for this to be a problem. And even after that, how long will it take for the public to trust the cars enough to immerse themselves in some VR world while they are changing?

The companies say they recognize this, but also that they "must start investing in anticipation of the vehicles eventually taking on." Probably to stay ahead of the curve or something? I do not know.

If this VR world in the car finally happens, you can bet that it comes with ads and advertising. Because it is the kind of cure, consumer-driven reality we live in.

5. Gear: Volkswagen Trucks

Volvo has Volvo Trucks and Volkswagen has Traton. The latter said today that it wants to offer 10 percent of its truck unit in a stock exchange listing, according to Reuters, which would be worth up to 1.9 billion euros.

From the story:

] The German automaker said in a statement that the offer would be priced at 27-33 euros per share, as Jefferies analysts said appreciated Traton with a small discount to industrial colleagues, but to a premium to Swedish competitor Volvo.

VW is planning to invest the money they make in this by increasing its electric car portfolio. Just earlier this week, we reported that we can expect some autonomous vehicles from the VW-Ford partnership.

Volkswagen is very concerned with the whole EV thing. I wonder why.

Reverse: RIP John Woolfe

The 24 Hours of Le Mans races began with a standing "Le Mans" start (where the drivers drove to their cars after the start of the race). But it changed after 1969 Le Mans on June 14 when driver John Woolfe crashed and died moments after the cars took off because he didn't attach the safety belt.

1970 Le Mans started with drivers already in their cars.

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Neutral: We throw a party this weekend!

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