This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. 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: NHTSA Has Fired Or Disciplined Precisely Nobody For GM Recall Probe
The GM recall, which none of you are tired of hearing about by now, is a hell of a kerfuffle. But GM has disciplined or fired at least 15 employees that were possibly negligent in installing the ignition switches in the first place.
But what about the people at NHTSA that inspected the original complaints? Not so much.
At the National Press Club, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx defended the way NHTSA handled complaints and said they were looking for a trend, which wasn't apparent. Since they didn't find a data driven reason, they didn't investigate further.
Is that fair? It seems like the failure here was a lot of GM (obviously), but NHTSA probably isn't totally blameless...
2nd Gear: Venezuela's Car Industry Is Dying
Venezuela used to be one of the biggest car producing nations in South America. Whoda thunk? But now, due to a lack of dollars, the plants are basically at an idle. And unlike America, the automakers don't have the luxury of idling plants here, the unions guarantee jobs.
What that means is that the industry, the ever shrinking industry, could begin to leave a previous stronghold in South America.
3rd Gear: Consumer Reports Kind Of Loves The Buick Regal
We don't hate the Buick Regal around here. It's a nice car, if not a little boring. But apparently Consumer Reports thinks that it's rather good. Like better than a CTS and ATS and slightly worse than a BMW 328i.
They've also added in the Volvo S60, a car that is now being considered sufficiently sporty to give its competitors a run for their money.
In points, the Regal finished second in class with an 84, on par with a Mercedes C250 and eight points ahead of the ATS/CTS. That's crazy. I'd take a CTS, but good to see that the Regal is getting some love.
4th Gear: Get Out Of My Dreams And Out Of My Car
The EU wants to put black boxes in cars to track drivers, not just data recorders. Drivers in the EU don't like this.
In a survey of 2,000 motorists in Europe, a whopping 71.5 percent said they don't want the black boxes in their cars. That makes sense. Why would anyone want the government to track just how fast they were driving or where they were in a car? Frankly, I'm surprised it wasn't 100 percent of people saying that they didn't want black boxes in the car.
5th Gear: PSA: STOP LEAVING YOUR KIDS IN A HOT CAR
There have been a number of stories lately of children dying in hot cars, like there are every summer. This is ridiculous. You'd think by now people would learn that even with a window cracked, a car is still oppressively hot.
So here, let me spell it out for you: It's freaking hot in cars in the summer. Kids, pets, and the elderly can't handle heat all that great. So why are we still leaving them in a hot car? If you have to go somewhere and can't take them out of the car with you, please leave them home, find a baby sitter, find a friend, or just don't go. We don't need all of these people and pets dying every year. It's frankly ridiculous.
Should NHTSA have fired people in the GM recall or been accountable?