One man’s fraud cost £1.6 million in insurance costs

How much could one person cost insurance companies by staging phony accidents? If a story in The Guardian is any indication, the answer is quite a bundle. According to the story, one huckster named Mohammed Patel in Manchester, England staged almost 100 crashes at the same roundabout – earning himself £500 for each accident and costing insurance companies £1.6 million.

Patel was sentenced to more than four years in jail for staging the accidents, most of which occurred at the same roundabout. He was caught after workers whose offices overlooked the intersection became suspicious because of the abnormal number of similar accidents that were taking place.

Prosecutor William Baker said Patel staged an elaborate series of accidents designed to defraud insurance companies.

“Mohammed Patel staged the road traffic accidents. He drove cars on to the roundabout and then stopped them so abruptly the vehicle behind could not avoid a collision.

Fraudulent claims, submitted by people not present at the scene whom Patel purported to be, were then made. Claims would include compensation for injuries such as whiplash, damage to the vehicle, a hire car, and storage of the damaged vehicle.”

Ford, UAW reach tentative agreement

According to Reuters, Ford and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement that would include a “no-strike” clause and a wage freeze for new hires. Ford official say that the deal was necessary to make the contract similar to other U.S. automakers.

In exchange for the major concessions from union officials, the pact also includes some additional benefits, including a one-time bonus and some production commitments. The changes – which still need to be ratified later this week by National Ford Council delegates – will impact about 41,000 UAW workers employed by Ford and replace a four-year contract agreed upon in 2007.

Ford was looking for help from the union to remain competitive with rival car makers such as GM and Chrysler. Ford was the only of the “Big Three” U.S. auto companies not to file for government-supported bankruptcy protection, and did not benefit from the renegotiations the other two companies engaged in with the UAW in order to remain alive.

Colorado dealership urges Penske to reconsider Saturn decision

The end might be near for Saturn, but that’s not stopping some car dealers from doing everything they can to fight for the beleaguered car company. The Denver Business Journal reports that Colorado’s Phil Long Dealerships have asked the Penske Automotive Group to reconsider its decision to back away from a deal to buy the car line from General Motors.

In a statement, Jay Cimino, CEO and president of Phil Long Dealerships, said the company was making “one last plea to [Penske Automotive owner] Roger Penske to make the final lap and finish this race.”

Cimino added, “There is much loyalty for this brand, which leaves me optimistic about the fate of Saturn.” He urged Saturn fans to leave “messages of support” at, a website oriented toward persuading Penske to buy Saturn.

At the same time, Cimino also said that the dealerships would be offering major sales to clear their lots of the remaining Saturns in stock.

Toyota to unveil new sports car at Tokyo Auto Show

Toyota plans a new green sports car

Toyota plans a new green sports car

Toyota is planning on getting sporty at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show as it will debut its new FT-86 sports car, which features green technology and a unique gasoline engine. Using a motor designed by Subaru, the FT-86 is based on the AE-86 model of Corolla-based sports cars sold in the 1980s.

The engine features pistons that are positioned horizontally instead of the vertical alignment that is standard in most engines. This allows the motor to sit lower in the frame, not only creating a more low-slung, classic sports car look but also resulting in a quieter drive.

In addition, enhancements to the technologies used on the FT-86 will mean that while it is a sports car, it can deliver fuel mileage similar to a standard coupe. The price will also be reasonable, with it expected to be sold in Japan for about 3 million yen ($33,700).

Honda EV-N concept is retro-adorable, has unicycle storage

Honda is planning to unveil its newest electric concept vehicle at the Tokyo motor show this October. The new Honda is extremely cute and retro, reminding us of the small cars of the ’70s. The car reminds us of a pug puppy face and sports futuristic features like swappable seat fabrics, a solar roof and a communications system embedded in the front of the car. This Honda has a battery powered electric motor that can be recharged by being plugged in to the main grid.

This tiny city car has will definitely blow away a few minds when first seen at the motor show. It also reminds us about how serious Honda is in developing and producing EVs for the future. The car’s coolest feature is that the passenger door contains a UX-3 super gyroscopic robot unicycle, just so you do not have to park your car and walk to the office or shopping mall. Simply extract the UX-3, sit on it and motor your way to your destination. By the looks of things an EV-N owner is bound to be the coolest EV owner in town.

Subaru Hybrid Tourer looks ready to take flight

Subaru has been renowned for its performance and power and it does not seem to compromise on it when it comes to adding a green automobile to its fleet. The Hybrid Tourer Concept will debut at the Tokyo motor show in October. The car will feature a horizontally opposed 2-litre engine boasting a turbo charger and direct injection. This gasoline engine sends power to the front wheels when necessary and a Lineartronic CVT transmission is used to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

The car also has a 10kW electric motor mated to the gasoline engine and produces power when needed as well as a generator that charges the batteries. A second electric motor generating 20kW is mounted on the rear axle providing power to the rear wheels under low speed driving conditions and when maximum power is required. The Subaru team has incorporated gull-wing doors for the front and rear passengers providing a sporty feel to the car. The front dashboard can be moved up and down providing the driver with a perfect view ahead. The floor of the car has also been kept flat since a driveshaft is not required to connect the front and rear mounted engines. The Subaru team has also gone the extra mile to give consumers a futuristic exterior design making the car more desirable than some of the other hybrids available in the market.