3 Auto Stocks Going Places: Toyota Case Goes to Court, Tesla Gets a Quintet of Stars, and Ford Rolls Back Production in Russia

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): Lawyers acting on behalf of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit against Toyota are demanding a $20 million settlement from the company as compensation for the family of a woman who died when her Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed, despite her efforts to stop. The trial is expected to last two months.

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Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA): As if Tesla needed another reason to brag, its Model S flagship sedan has been awarded a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest rating available. This included 5-star ratings in the frontal and side crashes as well as in the rollover test.

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): Ford’s Russian joint venture is planning to scale back production at its plant near St. Petersburg given that demand for the compact cars made there has seen dramatic reductions. The plant — which produces 125,000 cars per year with 3,000 employees — has experienced ”changes in customer demand with shifts between market segments” that has resulted in a 16 percent decline this year in the compact car segment. The Ford Focus, made at the plant, is the segment leader.

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