This is the Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parcel it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Buff Book Swears Toyota Still Mulling Supra
The last time Toyota officially hinted at a direct successor to the Supra was in 2007 with the FT-HS Concept, a sexy two-seater hybrid powered by a 400-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 gas engine linked to an electric motor. But then the carpocalypse hit. Then this past September, UK's Car Magazine cited an unnamed source saying Toyota's working on a potential successor to the Supra. Now Motor Trend claims the project's back. The buff book says Toyota's looking to take the FT-HS Concept's styling and drop it atop the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II — the all-wheel drive hybrid sports car built, basically, on the MR2 roadster. The problem — as CarScoop rightly points out — is that the MR2 is not only outdated, it's dead. But yeah, once they overcome that problem, then the Supra's totally coming back.
2nd Gear: Chrysler To Recall 2011-2012 Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 Sedans
Chrysler's conducting a voluntary safety recall of approximately 119,072 U.S.-spec 2011 and 2012 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans. In a release issued over the weekend, Chrysler says that "a plastic insert surrounding a fuse may be subject to distortion caused by thermal expansion and contraction. Such distortion could interrupt power to the ABS/ESC control system and temporarily suspend its function. If the condition occurs, the ABS/ESC warning lamp will illuminate. However, basic brake function is still fully available." And if the ABS/ESC control systems fail, it could, of course, lead to potential for fiery death!
3rd Gear: Scion Giving Away Free iQ With Purchase Of New PlayStation Vita
Scion is throwing in a free PlayStation Vita video game system with the sale of every new Scion iQ. "Scion is very proud of the iQ's intelligent and functional design," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president, in a statement. "Similar to the (PlayStation) Vita, the Scion iQ comes loaded with premium technological features, has a focus on functionality, is concentrated into a suitably small package and most importantly is tons of fun." Makes sense. The itty-bitty $15,265 Scion iQ hasn't exactly been a barnburner when it comes to sales — why not give away what new owners really want instead of a little city car — a little portable video game system to play while walking around in the city. Sigh.
4th Gear: Toyota Wins Dismissal Of Most Claims Of Sudden Unintended Devaluation In New York, Florida
On Friday, Toyota won a dismissal of most claims by Florida and New York car owners who contended the company drove down the value of their vehicles by failing to disclose or fix defects related to sudden unintended acceleration. The District Court judge said Florida plaintiffs can't sue Toyota for economic loss if they didn't experience an actual "sudden unintended acceleration" event — making final his tentative ruling from April. Bloomberg reports that Toyota claims the decision may eliminate millions of vehicle owners from the litigation.
5th Gear: Ford Wins Appeal Of $2 Billion Commercial Truck Verdict
An Ohio appeals court in Cleveland rejected the largest judgment ever against Ford — a $2 billion verdict — and ruled the trial judge improperly excluded evidence that could have helped the company in defending itself against claims the automaker overcharged commercial truck dealers for 11 years. Bloomberg tells us that dealers can still ask the Ohio Supreme Court to review the ruling, which Ford disclosed yesterday in a regulatory filing. We're guessing given the stakes, that's probably pretty likely.
6th Gear: Fiat Dealer Actually Sells More Than 100 Cars In One Month
Automotive News reports that April was the first month in which a Fiat "salon" (they don't call 'em dealerships) topped 100 sales in a single month. That "salon" was Fiat of Austin and they sold 107 Fiat 500s in April. That came out to about 3% of the new brand's 3,849 sales across 158 dealers. Not bad for a year-old dealership with only a single model to sell, right?
51st state? Yoopers are talking up secession from Michigan again. [Detroit Free Press]
Spied! Another F-150 Face Gives Little Away. [PickupTrucks.com]
Project Visio.M gives way to MUTE concept. [World Car Fans]
Convertible Lamborghini Aventador to feature targa roof? [Left Lane News]
As weather warms, custom 'donk' sedans hit the streets. [Detroit News]
N.A. production will slash Toyota imports. [Automotive News]
U.S., German makers agree on electric-car charging. [USA Today]
Mission for vehicle designers: Cut weight, but keep the look exciting. [Detroit Free Press]
GM's pickup plans divide dealerships. [Automotive News]
Pointing the Way to Where E.V. Drivers Can Plug In. [New York Times]
Lexus Claiming No. 1 Lost to BMW in U.S. Riding on New GS. [Bloomberg]
On this day in 1998, the German automobile company Daimler-Benz—maker of the world-famous luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz—announces a $36 billion merger with the United States-based Chrysler Corporation. [History]
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