Monthly Archives: March 2014

All Cars Are Under Investigation According to LAPD

All Cars Are Under Investigation According to LAPD

By Anthony Alaniz

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, cars within Los Angeles is currently under investigation. What those cars are under investigation for is unknown. The startling stance comes as a records request from the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) about the data collected by the Automatic license plate reader (ALPR) systems, as well as the department’s policy about the storing and sharing of that data was met with a denial.

The system, which is used in cities across the country, takes photos of all license plates that come into the system’s view. The system collects the location, plate number and time.

The LAPD is arguing that while the information isn’t being used for any current investigations, it could be useful in future ones.

“All ALPR data is investigatory—regardless of whether a license plate scan results in an immediate ‘hit’ because, for instance, the vehicle may be stolen, the subject of an ‘Amber Alert,’ or operated by an individual with an outstanding arrest warrant,” according to the LAPD’s filing.

A similar system was used in Boston until an investigation and public records request showed a stolen car being scanned 60 times without arousing a police response. The program was subsequently shut down.

The LAPD is taking a bold stand against the prevailing traditions of the criminal justice system and the Fourth Amendment. The American Civil Liberties Union and EFF are appealing the filing.

Source: Al Jazeera America

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779

GM Halts Some Chevrolet Cruze Sales

Screenshot 2014-03-28 at 10

By Anthony Alaniz

General Motors has had a recent bout of very bad PR. A recent, and long hidden defect has reared its ugly head. GM has known about the defect, yet has done little to rectify the problem. Now, in the midst of the negative PR, GM has halted the sales of all 1.4-liter turbocharged Chevrolet Cruzes.

The Cruze is GM’s best selling car in America and the current halt on sales affects about 20,000 cars. GM spokesman Alan Adler said he didn’t know what halted the sale of the car, but did say that it wasn’t because of a recall.

While on the surface this looks like negative, it could bode as a positive for the company. The halt on sales makes GM appear proactive in catching any other potential future recalls.

“GM has to do more than appear to be making changes. They need to have verifiable shifts in how they handle safety issues,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for sales tracker Kelley Blue Book, in an interview with CNN Money. “What’s the big problem with the ignition switch—that they didn’t act quickly enough. Now they’re responding at the first signs of any problem.”

Source: CNN Money

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779

Speed Was Cause Of Paul Walker’s, Roger Rodas’ Death

Speed Was Cause Of Paul Walker Death

By Anthony Alaniz

The investigation into the sudden, unexpected death of actor Paul Walker and race car driver Roger Rodas is finally finished. The report states the car was traveling between 80 and 93 mph at the time of the crash—the sole contributing factor to the crash as determined by investigators was excessive speed. Both were wearing their seat belts and both airbags deployed.

With cooperation from Porsche, investigators were able to determine that the Carrera GT was mechanically sound before the crash, ruling out any mechanical failure as a cause of the crash.

The investigator’s report went on to note that the tires found on the left side of the car were over nine years old at the time of the accident, contradicting the GT’s owner’s manual that said tires older than four years old shouldn’t be used for safety reasons. The right-side tires were too damaged for their age to be determined.

Toxicology reports ruled out drugs and alcohol as contributing factors to the crash. Eyewitness reports and security camera footage showed the Carrera GT alone, ruling out street racing.

The death of Walker and Rodas are stark reminders of how terribly wrong a crash can go when it is traveling at a high rate of speed. It should be a sobering reminder how fragile life is.

Source: Road & Track

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779

LAPD Gets a Lamborghini Gallardo, Crooks Watch Out

LAPD Gets a Lamborghini Gallardo, Crooks Watch Out

@LAPDLambo on Instagram

By Anthony Alaniz

The Los Angeles Police Department unveiled its latest, fastest and least reliable pursuit vehicle to the masses this week via the photo sharing website Instagram, a Lamborghini Gallardo. Granted, the Gallardo will only be used for promotional purposes as it is on loan. Don’t expect it to by flying down the 101 Freeway.

The owners of the Lamborghini Gallardo, Nathalie and Travis Marg of Light Source 1 inc., donated their Gallardo to appear at charitable events for the LAPD Air Support Team, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Gallardo is decked out in traditional LAPD-scheme—black and white color combination.  “To Protect and to Serve” is written on its sides for an added level of intimidation.

“You can run, but you can’t hide. Makes you wanna join #LAPD, doesn’t it?” LAPD’s Rampart Division said in an Instagram post.

A 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo has a starting price of about $182,000—chump change, really. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, no tax dollars were spent on the vehicle.

The Gallardo is expected to make its first appearance at the Los Angeles County Air Show at Fox Field in Lancaster on March 21-22.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779

Green Cars For Rent Fill Los Angeles Niche

Green Cars For Rent Fill Los Angeles Niche

By Anthony Alaniz

MPG Car Rental sets itself apart from the competition by offering only green cars to rent in Los Angeles. While other rental agencies offer some green vehicles, MPG Car Rental focuses solely on the green-car niche.

MPG Car Rental emerged from California Car Rental after the owner saw potential in offering only green cars. He then made the switch.

Offerings include the expected Toyota Prius, along with the Chevrolet Volt, Volkswagen’s clean-diesel models and the Tesla Model S.

Other car rental companies like Hertz offers its “Green Traveler Collection,” which offers a variety of environmentally friendly models. What makes MPG Car Rental a lucrative business is its proximity to the airport, something other companies don’t have the advantage of.

Even with being close to the airport, local residents also take advantage of what cars MPG Car Rental has to offer.

“I needed a car. My car was going into the shop, and I found these guys right in the neighborhood,” said Laura Lee, a local business owner, in an interview with KABC Los Angeles. “It’s very affordable.”

If a customer rented a Toyota Prius and wants to own one, MPG Car Rental will give the customer a voucher so they can go to an affiliated dealership and receive a reimbursement of a rental that’s taken off the purchase price

While green cars may be a niche in the automotive world, companies like MPG Car Rental offers a great service for the environmentally conscious.

Source: KABC Los Angeles

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779.

Driverless Cars Pose Regulation Problem

Driverless Cars Pose Regulation Problem

Driverless cars are inevitable. As automakers and technology companies push further into the realm of making cars as safe as possible, driverless cars pose a highly problematic regulation issue.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles held a hearing Tuesday as it tries to figure out how to regulate driverless cars and new technologies that are still being tested.

Three states have already passed driverless car laws, which focus on testing. While automakers and technology companies have been testing driverless cars in California for some time, but as the technology becomes more standard, legislators are scrambling to figure out how to regulate broader use of the technology.

In 2012, the California Legislature passed a law that laid out rules on testing. For broader use, California’s law could become the standard for the nation, as the federal government is years away from setting any standards.

During the meeting Tuesday, privacy concerns were the focus. Concerns about tracking were brought up. Google fought against attempts to add privacy guarantees in the 2012 legislation.

However, if regulation is too stringent, it could stifle research and development. The California Department of Motor Vehicles hopes to strike a balance between public safety, innovation and privacy.

Source: CBS Los Angeles

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779.

Alleged Bitcoin Founder Chased By Reporters

Alleged Bitcoin Founder Chased By Reporters

By Anthony Alaniz

Earlier this week, Newsweek alleged Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto was the creator and founder of Bitcoin, the new, anonymous cryptocurrency.

In the ensuing media frenzy trying to identify the mysterious man, Nakamoto left his home to ride around Los Angeles in a car with a reporter while being chased by several other reporters.

Nakamoto rode with a reporter for the Associated Press, according to Los Angeles Times reporter Andrea Chang. Nakamoto spoke with Chang and he denied being the creator of Bitcoin.

Nakamoto lives in Temple City, Calif., and journalists staked themselves outside his home when the Newsweek report was published Thursday.

Bitcoin was founded in the late 2000s, and has gained popularity as an anonymous and decentralized international currency. The founder and creator of Bitcoin has remained a mystery, though many suspect the creator uses “Satoshi Nakamoto” as a pseudonym.

Many within the Bitcoin community were upset that Newsweek tried to identify the creator.

It looks like we are no closer to learning the identity of the creator and founder of Bitcoin.

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779.

Train, Car Collide in Los Angeles

Train, Car Collide in Los Angeles

By Anthony Alaniz

A car collided with a commuter train today in Los Angeles.

The accident left 13 people were injured, two of them seriously. The driver of the car, a minivan, didn’t have serious injuries. The driver declined to be transported to a medical facility.

The accident occurred around 10 a.m. when the minivan, a Toyota Sienna, apparently ran a red light said Metro spokesman Marc Littman in an interview with WCSH 9 Portland. The accident occurred south of downtown Los Angeles. The accident involved a northbound Blue Line train at an intersection.

Twelve people who were on the train were taken to the hospital said Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main in an interview with WCSH 9 Portland. Ten were listed in fair condition, with two in serious condition.

The 22-mile Blue Line between Los Angeles and Long Beach is prone to accidents according to Littman. He says a number of drivers run red lights or turn illegally in front of street-level trains.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing. The names of the driver and those injured in the accident have not yet been released. No charges have been filed against the minivan driver at this time.

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779.

Mercedes-Benz Could Move Into Vacant Boeing Space

Mercedes-Benz Could Move Into Vacant Boeing Space

By Anthony Alaniz

Mercedes-Benz could soon be occupying the old Boeing facility on Lakewood Blvd. and Conant St. in Long Beach after sitting empty for eight years.

Mercedes-Benz, which has a 15-year lease that begins March 1 at the facility, has yet to release any details about what it plans to do with the 1.1 million square foot facility.

“Aerospace is disappearing from this area and going to other states but to have activity like that, a car manufacturer assembling cars?,” Fred Mooshagian, who worked at the facility nearly 60 years ago, said in an interview with NBC Southern California. “Absolutely!”

“We know that Mercedes-Benz is coming in, and then we have the Habit and Starbucks,” said Gary Maldia of the sub shop in an interview NBC Southern California. “They will benefit.”

Mercedes Benz, which has been very tight-lipped about its lease, did not return NBC Southern California’s calls for comment Thursday.

With an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent, Bob Foster, the mayor of Long Beach, hopes Mercedes-Benz will hire locally.

“Mercedes has a big footprint here,” he said in an interview with NBC Southern California. “They have research facilities near by here. This is going to increase their presence in and around Long Beach.

If you need a car accident lawyer, call The Law Offices of Koenig and Nguyen at 877-720-5779.