Volkswagen Turned a Defunct Stadium Into a Junkyard and Pontiac Isn’t Pleased
After a lengthy death rattle spanning from 2006 to 2012, Michigan’s Pontiac Silverdome finally closed for good in 2013. Its parking lot, however, remains in use thanks to Volkswagen’s legal obligation to buy back scores of diesel carsÂ following its infamous emissions scandal. In stasis since January, the cars have become an unwelcome addition to the deteriorating stadium and the city of Pontiac has opted to sue the property’s current owners for holding them.
While the site’s parking lot is being used for its intended purpose for the first time in years, city officials claim thatÂ Triple Investment Group has violated numerous safety codes, zoning ordinances, and a municipal code relating to the proper storage of used vehicles at the property. Six complaints were filed with the 50th District Court in Pontiac on February 27th, roughly a month after hundreds of VWs arrived in the wake of the company’s emission’s crisis.
Now, the doomed diesels number in the thousands.Â
Patrick Lennon, legal representative for Triple Investment Group and partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, told The Oakland Press that his client has not admitted responsibility to any wrongdoingÂ but does plan on cooperatingÂ with the city to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
â€œOur client is actively engaged and working with the city. We hope to resolve our differences with the city and we believe we are making good progress and working together,â€ Lennon said. â€œWe are still waiting on a schedule for (the hearing) but we are hopeful that we will resolve the differences in the meantime and further hearings wonâ€™t be necessary.â€
An initial hearing was planned for March 15th, but was adjourned.
The stadium is currently in lousy condition and has only been used occasionally since 2002, whenÂ the NFL’s Detroit Lions relocated to Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Afterward, the SilverdomeÂ hosted monster truck rallies and the occasional boxing match or concert but hasn’t seen any real action since 2013. Initial redevelopment goalsÂ fell through and plans to demolish the building have been repeatedly pushed back for over a yearÂ â€” fostering animosity among PontiacÂ officials. The areaÂ has once again been slated for redevelopment, although no official plans have been filed with the city and it’s currently occupied by a crop of unsellable Volkswagens.
“The city will not continue to let violation after violation go unresolved,” J. Travis Mihelick, an attorney for the city of Pontiac, said in the letter to the court. “We must have some productive movement, other than promises that have been repeated and broken time and again over the last several years.”
A Volkswagen spokesman told the Detroit Free PressÂ Wednesday that the automaker is storing its repurchased diesels at sites all across the country, including the Silverdome. The plan is to keep the cars at these locations until a vehicle modification is developedÂ that would allow the vehicles to be resold. If no such fix becomes available, the vehicles would then be sent out and recycled.
via The Truth About Cars http://ift.tt/Jh8LjA
March 24, 2017 at 03:37AM