Jury Finds Old Person, Not Toyota Liable For Woman's Death

This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?

1st Gear: Is Toyota Going To Win All Its Cases?

Jury Finds Old Person, Not Toyota Liable For Woman's Death

The AP thinks the first jury verdict in a Toyota-versus-everyone-killed-by-Camry case might be a bellwether, and the news is good for Toyota.

It took about five days of deliberation, but a jury found that Toyota wasn't at fault for not installing a brake override system. Rather, they found the octogenarian behind the wheel who ran the stop sign who killed a woman was at fault.

That makes perfect sense and appears to be the model for all of these cases: The Old Person Did It.

2nd Gear: E'rbody Wants A Corvette

Jury Finds Old Person, Not Toyota Liable For Woman's Death

The 2014 Corvette is a hit, which should surprise absolutely no one, despite not being in every dealership.

From The Detroit News we learn that about 950 dealers got the Corvette first and, on average, they stay on the lot for no more than five days.

It'll be a month before the other 2000-or-so dealers can start ordering them. Hilariously, one of the new owners reporter Melissa Burden found was none other than Ken Lingenfelter, who bought a cyber-gray metallic Stingray. Can't wait to hear what he does with it.

"It's a winner," he said of the seventh-generation Corvette. "It's got style, comfort, a lot of new electronics. The interior is much upgraded from what it was. The way it handles on the race track is very, very good."

3rd Gear: The 2014 Cherokee Uprising

Jury Finds Old Person, Not Toyota Liable For Woman's Death

There are so many ways to refer to the new Jeep Cherokee. Bloomberg calls it 'Turducken-like' in their report over the response.

The look created an uproar when it was unveiled earlier this year. Chrysler explained it intentionally crafted a design to elicit love-it or hate-it reactions to make some noise.

Clearly, it worked.

4th Gear: What To Do About The UAW

Jury Finds Old Person, Not Toyota Liable For Woman's Death

Another WSJ story on the ongoing UAW/VW issue in Chattanooga, where we learn VW is apparently split about how to proceed.

As you'll remember, the UAW wants to help VW enact a "work council" like the kinds they have in Europe. VW wants it, too, and is required by law to use an outside organization like the UAW.

While some at Volkswagen wants to move forward, they seem to be hinting that they want to have the workers take a vote. If that happens, the workers may vote that they're happy and don't want the UAW, thus complicating worker's plans.

A secret ballot vote could complicate the union's chances of organizing the plant. The UAW has a mixed track record in secret-ballot votes. In August, the union said it had more signed cards from more than half the workers at a parts plant in Mississippi but a majority voted against union representation when the matter was put to a ballot.

5th Gear: The U.S. Keeps Messin' With Japan

Jury Finds Old Person, Not Toyota Liable For Woman's Death

When we're not busy stealing their Chinese sales with our Fords and Buicks, we're apparently screwing up Japan's profits in the U.S. with our shutdown.

Per Automotive News

Japan's brands were just starting to coast on comfortable yen-dollar exchange rates, after a four-year slog through record highs that torpedoed profits.

Now, the congressional impasse is unraveling all that.

Jitters about the economy have spurred a flight away from the dollar to safe-haven currencies, especially the Japanese yen. Indeed, the dollar has tumbled 3 percent against the yen since the beginning of September.

Reverse: Good For Him

On this day in 2008, a man from Belgium named Luc Costermans sets a new world speed record for blind drivers: 192 mph. Costermans set the record in a borrowed Lamborghini Gallardo on a long, straight stretch of airstrip near Marseilles, France. He was accompanied by a carload of sophisticated navigational equipment as well as a human co-pilot, who gave directions from the Lamborghini's passenger seat.

[HISTORY]

Neutral: Should We Blame Toyota?
By creating boring cars did Toyota create its own problems? Are they just victims because their boring cars appealed to old people? Where's the line?

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