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Judge Delays Hearings on Lyft's Future in St. Louis

lyftdiffcar.jpg
Urbanists on Flickr, cropped
Lyft's pink mustaches are getting their day in court.
A full week of deliberations just isn't enough. On Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge Joan Moriarty ordered a ten-day break before the hearings over ride-sharing app Lyft's future in St. Louis can continue.

After hearing from all of the witnesses, Moriarty asked counselors from Lyft and from the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, which is fighting for a permanent injunction against Lyft, to prepare a findings report by June 2.

Stephen O'Brien, a lawyer representing Lyft, asked Moriarty to expedite the process and allow closing arguments since Lyft is under a temporary restraining order until Moriarty makes her final decision.

"This is a bit of an emergency," O'Brien said in court. "This is important to us, and we need to get this resolved."


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Tesla Remains Legal in Missouri, Legislature to Reconsider Ban Next Year

Categories: Autos

teslacar.jpg
Voxluna on Flickr
Will Missouri ban Tesla cars here next year?
Tesla won a major legislative battle last week when Republican leadership decided to pump the brakes on a bill that would effectively have kicked the electric car company out of Missouri.

Tesla, which has a service center in St. Louis, says it sells cars directly to consumers -- not through franchise car dealerships -- to cut out the unnecessary middleman. But an amendment added to legislation last week, the final week of the session, would have made direct sales illegal and stopped Tesla's Missouri business.


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St. Louis Has the 3rd Most Courteous Drivers in U.S.: Study

Categories: Autos

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Andrew Warren on Flickr
Welcome to St. Louis, the city with the third nicest drivers!
You may feel the road rage during rush hour, but a new study says St. Louis drivers are actually the third nicest in the country.

St. Louis comes in right behind No. 1 Portland and No. 2 Pittsburgh on a list of the most courteous drivers in the U.S., according to a study commissioned by roadside assistance provider AutoVantage. Houston was named the city with the worst road rage.


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Missouri Legislature Could Ban Tesla Cars with "Sneak Attack" Amendment

Categories: Autos, Politics

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pestoverde on Flickr
Elon Musk, Tesla's cofounder, calls the amendment on House Bill No. 1124 a "sneak attack" on his business.
A last-minute amendment added days before the end of Missouri's legislative session could block electric-car company Tesla from selling to customers in Missouri.

Tesla decried the legislative maneuvering as a "sneak attack" that would "hurt consumer freedom in Missouri" after learning about the amendment to House Bill 1124. The amendment would stop car sellers like Tesla from circumventing franchise dealers and selling directly to customers.


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Lyft's Court Date Gets Pushed Back, Uber Gets Support from Mayor Slay

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Lyft
A judge has ordered Lyft to stop operating in St. Louis.
Lyft will have its day in court. Just not yet.

The smartphone-based ride-sharing app is fighting a temporary restraining order that prohibits Lyft from operating in St. Louis without a ride-for-hire license. The restraining order, filed by the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, will stay in effect until a hearing on a permanent injunction on May 16.


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Car Salesman Sued For Scamming Customers Says His Customers Are To Blame

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KMOV
Exclusive Imports, where a state lawsuit claims Tadarrell Qualls operated a used car racket.
Tadarrell Qualls is tired of being portrayed as the bad guy. A north city auto broker, Qualls is being sued by the state for allegedly selling pre-owned vehicles without titles, leaving customers with a hefty bill for cars they can't legally register or drive.

We first learned about Qualls when KMOV aired the latest in a string of reports targeting his previous dealership, Top Quality Auto, and his current consulting business. The report captured Qualls' wife in a magnificently goofy meltdown in which she clearly had no intention of playing a round of "gotcha!" with KMOV reporter Chris Nagus.

After more than a year chasing this story, KMOV has never managed to interview Qualls. We got in touch with him yesterday. He tells Daily RFT that KMOV and Attorney General Chris Koster are being manipulated by a few scheming customers trying shake down his legitimate business.

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FBI Seeks Two St. Louis Fugitives In Auto Theft Ring Involving 21 Defendants, 100 Luxury Cars

Categories: Autos, News

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FBI
Morris Davis.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for two St. Louis fugitives that were allegedly part of a massive auto theft ring that involved 21 men and women, more than a hundred luxury cars -- and spanned across Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana for five years.

Reginald Dante McNeary, a.k.a. "Reggie," and Morris Allen Davis, a.k.a. "Mo," are the two remaining defendants on the loose involved in the auto theft scheme that the U.S. Attorney's Office brought to light in April with a federal indictment that initially led to the arrest of sixteen individuals.

McNeary lives in the St. Louis metro area and is known to drive high-end cars, such as a Mercedes Benz, Jaguars, Cadiallac Escalades and BMWs, the FBI says. He frequents local health clubs, has associates in Missouri and Illinois -- and is armed and dangerous, the bureau says.

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Photos: Ingram Towing Has No License, Allegedly Stealing Cars Throughout St. Louis

Categories: Autos, Crime

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Leonard Ingram
Have you ever had your car towed? It's a really awful feeling when you go back to the space where you left it and it's just not there anymore.

Now imagine losing your car and learning that the tow company that took it is actually a sham business that snags cars.

It could happen to you! An entity that goes by the name of Ingram Towing has, on multiple occasions, illegally towed cars, St. Louis County Police say. A suspect was charged this week, but officials are still urging people to report suspicious activity.

How can you spot them?

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10 Coolest (and Craziest) Cars of the 2013 St. Louis Auto Show

Categories: Autos

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Jason Stoff
2013 St. Louis Auto Show: Mini-er than ever.
I have been attending the St. Louis Auto Show for probably twenty years now. I can recall back when the Caprice-based Impala was a concept. The Viper and Sunfire as well. The Acura NSX. And I saw them all, live and in person. Over acres and acres of jam-packed floor space. Every manufacturer and nearly every model was represented.

Oh, how times have changed.

Walking around the floor of this year's St. Louis Auto Show, I first noticed the seemingly sparse spacing of the vehicles on display. It appeared on first blush that there were more show spaces than there were participants to fill them.

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