Car hauler sued by OEMs over ‘hostage’ vehicles

WINDSOR, Ont. — General Motors and Chrysler are trying to recover more than 2,400 vehicles they say are being held "hostage" by their main transport provider, Allied Systems Holdings.

According to the Windsor Star and other reports, the car carrier has locked up the vehicles over a dispute with the two car manufacturers.

Earlier this week, a court ordered the car hauler to release about 200 minivans to Chrysler, but the remaining vehicles, which include minivans, Chevrolet Silverado pickups and Camaros, are in Allied’s possession.

Chrysler has sought a court order from the Ontario Superior Court to get the vehicles being held in Allied facilities in Windsor.

In a separate filing in U.S. District Court in Detroit, GM claimed that Allied had breached its contract to transport cars and is "holding hostage" 1,704 new vehicles, estimated to be worth US$46.6 million.

"(Allied) simply has no claim to the vehicles; they are GM’s property," the claim stated.

The companies reportedly sent their own drivers to pick up the vehicles, but were blocked from the premises.

According to reports, Allied’s demands for a 15-percent rate increase and contract revisions were rejected by GM and Chrysler, which then terminated their agreements with the carrier.

Allied subsequently withdrew its services for transporting the 2,400 vehicles in its possession.

Allied had previously attempted to impose a 20-percent pay cut to its 2,500-Teamsters driver force, but soon rescinded those plans when the union threatened to strike.

Allied’s Canadian union drivers (which switched to the CAW two years ago) were not part of the planned paycut, a CAW spokeswoman confirmed to

However, Allied’s contracts with GM and Chrsyler in Canada are affected by the dispute and threatens driver jobs in Ontario and Quebec.

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