Court Turns Down NYC's "Taxi of Tomorrow" Program
October 9, 2013 8:33 AM
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.
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.
The Wall Street Journal
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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