Print 35 comment(s) - last by Stuka.. on Oct 12 at 12:01 PM

This could block the widespread launch of Nissan's NV200

Only weeks away from launch, New York City's "Taxi of Tomorrow" program has been rejected by the state Supreme Court in Manhattan. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, the court ruled that the "Taxi of Tomorrow" program was an "overreach" of authority. 

"Simply stated, the power to contract and compel medallion owners to purchase the Nissan NV200 from Nissan for ten years does not exist in the City Charter," Justice Shlomo Hagler wrote in his decision.

Earlier this year, taxi magnate Evgeny Freidman and the Greater New York Taxi Association filed a lawsuit against New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in an effort to put a stop to the program, which would require most new taxis to be the Nissan NV200.

The "Taxi of Tomorrow" program was first outlined in 2007 and announced in 2011. It aimed to replace the old Crown Victoria taxis with greener, more convenient versions. The Nissan NV200 took first place, and manufacturing began in Mexico in August 2013. 

The NV200 sports a 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, 150,000 mile powertrain warranty, low-annoyance horn with exterior lights, a 6-way adjustable driver's seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, hearing loop system for the hearing impaired, driver and passenger intercom system, USB auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver, and safety improvements like front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags and standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control.

The program rules requiring most new taxis to be the Nissan NV200 was to take effect on October 28, but the latest ruling is throwing a wrench into those plans.

"We believe the Court's decision is fundamentally wrong, and we intend to appeal immediately," said Michael A. Cardozo, NYC's corporation counsel. "It was well within the TLC's authority to authorize the Taxi of Tomorrow."

Nissan's contract with TLC would allow it to get design and production costs back if the project is cancelled by the city, and the automaker estimated those costs at about $50 million.

"We are disappointed in the court's decision, but it will not prevent our plan to start upgrading the NYC taxi fleet with the Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow at the end of the month," said a Nissan spokesperson.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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who can they appeal to, lol
By TheEinstein on 10/9/2013 9:02:02 AM , Rating: 3
If the Supremes for NY judged... that means there is no recourse...

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By DanNeely on 10/9/2013 10:09:29 AM , Rating: 2
They can appeal to the feds.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By laviathan05 on 10/9/2013 10:29:23 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think they have a chance there either. Their best bet is to pass some sort of CAFE standards for taxis. Trying to make a law requiring a specific make and model will never make it through and I'm surprised it was even passed since the politicians should know that.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By JediJeb on 10/9/2013 6:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Government= How we make our laws

Politics= How we get around our laws

Politicians don't care about the laws, only how to legally evade them.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Nightraptor on 10/9/2013 10:21:46 AM , Rating: 5
New York's judiciary is actually very unusual. The "Supreme Court" in New York is actually the trial level court (called the "District Court" in most states). As a result this opinion may be appealed to the Appellate Division (which is the intermediate court of appeals in New York) and finally to the Court of Appeals (which is the highest court in New York). It is unlikely that this could ever be appealed to the Federal Courts as it involves only interpretation of State laws and the City Charter. No Federal Laws or Federal Constitutional issues are being implicated.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Argon18 on 10/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By sorry dog on 10/9/2013 2:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
Normally you can appeal to the federal level once a certain dollar amount is in question. Don't remember the amount, but 50+ million will certainly qualify.

By Captain Awesome on 10/10/2013 1:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be an expert on state law there, so answer this for me please. If they try and fail with all of those appeals, how soon can they take the case to Judge Judy?

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By chiguy2891 on 10/9/2013 10:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
The naming of the court system in New York is awkward. In New York, the Supreme Court is actually a low level court. The Court of Appeals is the highest level state court in New York, which other states typically call their Supreme Court.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Jeffk464 on 10/9/2013 2:22:19 PM , Rating: 3
I think the Nissan taxi makes a whole lot of sense, but I think I agree with the court you cant force it on the taxi companies. Even so I think it will be adopted without the mandate.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By sorry dog on 10/9/2013 3:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's one thing to specify a particular model for your own contract with your own money, but it's quite another to specify a model for somebody else to buy and operate. Definitely an overreach of power and ripe for abuse when you make decisions for somebody else's money.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Alexvrb on 10/9/2013 11:35:53 PM , Rating: 3
But... but... now they have to pay back Nissan for development costs, AND they won't get the rest of the kickbacks they were promised over the next 10 years! Besides, what's a little abuse of power and lawbreaking, they do it all the time.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Stuka on 10/12/2013 12:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Certainly. What they should have done was tailor a specific set of regulations governing new taxi purchases, ie. emissions standards, engine displacement, vehicle weight, cargo volume, passenger volume, etc. They simply mandate that all taxi purchases from date xx/xx must comply with the new regs or you will lose your operator license. Then the market decides whether the Nissan is the best one, or the Prius, or the Jeep Wrangler, or whatever.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Jeffk464 on 10/9/2013 2:27:39 PM , Rating: 3
What doesn't make any sense at all is the current V8 sedan taxi cab fleet.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By Alexvrb on 10/9/2013 11:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
Do you honestly think taxi cab companies don't have a single bean counter looking at their bottom line? Fuel is only one factor. What about reliability, what about vehicle uptime? If your cab is in the shop for maintenence or repair, it's not on the road making money. Speaking of which, what about maintenence/repair costs and complexity (what can be done in-house or on the cheap, and what requires specialized outside help)? They keep records of everything, they know how much it costs to maintain various fleet vehicles, and their uptime, repair history/costs, etc. I assure you that they keep track of many factors.

In addition, their fleets aren't all V8 sedans (not that number of cylinders linearly corresponds to fuel efficiency anyway). Anything recent is a more fuel efficient, lighter vehicle. In fact, in NYC (which is incredibly corrupt and has taxi laws they only enforce sporadically) taxi cabs have to be on the "approved" (grease the palms) list of vehicles. So only older ones are Crown Vics. Also, if you have a perfectly good fleet of vehicles, does it make economic sense to discard them before they are sufficiently old and worn out? I imagine it makes more sense to keep running them until they're ready for retirement.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By flyingpants1 on 10/10/2013 5:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
So what's the actual math here? NYC taxis run 70k miles/year right? Seems like a good candidate for fuel efficiency savings if there ever was one.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By mindless1 on 10/10/2013 10:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if you could just snap your fingers and the vehicles magically turned into different vehicles, your repair parts stock changed as well, and don't forget your mechanics' training (or those at the repair shop you use).

Older vehicle designs are MUCH easier to maintain and repair. Newer ones, half the major stuff within the first two years requires pulling the engine out and many parts are dealer only which usually raises price by over 40%.

If they replace their fleet there's all the above and then factor in the interest on the money spent to buy new vehicles, and higher insurance rates on more valuable vehicles.

RE: who can they appeal to, lol
By flyingpants1 on 10/11/2013 5:23:55 AM , Rating: 2
Well.. they will have to replace the fleet eventually. My question was about fuel savings.

Why? Are the Cup Holders Too Big?
By Arsynic on 10/9/2013 10:37:24 AM , Rating: 3
They probably didn't have cup holders the size of shot glasses to accommodate Bloomberg's new definition of a "Big Gulp".

By dgingerich on 10/9/2013 12:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
I find it funny that NY judges ruled any sort of "overreach of authority." I thought that area was where people believed int he government and that they'd take care of everyone.

They're clearly not engineers
By DT_Reader on 10/9/2013 2:49:40 PM , Rating: 3
Engineers have known for years how to specify the part they need in a way that the part they want is the only one that fits the bill. Most companies even include the verbiage in their brochure so the engineer doesn't have to write it.

Instead of naming the specific make and model, the TLC should have specified the feature set that only the Nissan NV200 could meet. Heck, this article pretty much has it nailed:
2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, 150,000 mile powertrain warranty, low-annoyance horn with exterior lights, a 6-way adjustable driver's seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, hearing loop system for the hearing impaired, driver and passenger intercom system, USB auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver, and safety improvements like front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags and standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control.

Hard to get more specific than that, but if need be they could specify the tire size, wheelbase, track, overall length, height, and width, etc.

RE: They're clearly not engineers
By mindless1 on 10/10/2013 10:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't have made a difference, the argument against it is still the same.

New idea
By vapore0n on 10/9/2013 1:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
They should replace all taxi cabs with the Cash Cab.

NY taxis
By Richard875yh5 on 10/9/13, Rating: 0
By GodMadeDirt on 10/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: 1rd
By Flunk on 10/9/2013 10:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
You prefer to be annoyed?

RE: 1rd
By Morawka on 10/9/2013 10:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
i prefer to know a horn when i hear one, not something that sounds like someones ring tone or text alert.

RE: 1rd
By jimbojimbo on 10/9/2013 10:57:30 AM , Rating: 2
Live in a city for a while and you'll hate them especially considering the fact if you hear a taxi's horn it's not to avoid an accident. It's almost always because they're frustrated and thinking traffic will magically clear up if they honk. Good riddance.

RE: 1rd
By euler007 on 10/9/2013 11:12:00 AM , Rating: 2
Speaking as someone that lives on a 15th floor, I don't need to hear a horn form a car that's a mile away.

RE: 1rd
By crimsonson on 10/9/2013 11:14:44 AM , Rating: 2
Considering the high density of automobiles and tourist pedestrians and residence and business in the streets of Manhattan, does it make sense to you to have fog horns?

Think about it for a second.

RE: 1rd
By Jeffk464 on 10/9/2013 2:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
You prefer to be annoyed

I go through my life completely annoyed

RE: 1rd
By boeush on 10/10/2013 8:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
I was born annoyed.

I'll probably be even more annoyed at dying...

RE: 1rd
By flyingpants1 on 10/10/2013 4:34:35 AM , Rating: 1
Hahahahaha the dumbest comment I've ever seen

RE: 1rd
By Warwulf on 10/10/2013 3:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
I, for one, want to know what exactly constitutes a "low annoyance horn".

I'm picturing an Englishman jumping out of your trunk... "Cheerio, good fellow. Would you mind kindly moving along as the traffic robot has already been illuminated green for an inordinate period of time."

RE: 1rd
By boeush on 10/10/2013 8:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's probably a built-in electroshock device in the steering wheel, that gives the taxi driver a nice and escalating jolt if they hit the horn more than once a minute...

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