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Taxi Operators Sue NYC Over Making Nissan Official Cab

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Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- New York City taxi fleet operators sued the city over rules that make a Nissan Motor Co. vehicle the city’s official cab.

The plaintiffs, who include the Committee for Taxi Safety and Taxifleet Management LLC, said the city and other defendants exceeded their powers under law in selecting the “entirely untested” Nissan NV200 as the only authorized taxi, according to a complaint dated Nov. 28 in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“Taxicab medallion and vehicle owners, who have long been permitted to choose from among dozens of different vehicles made by numerous different manufacturers, will have all choices eliminated and will instead be required to purchase and drive the NV200 only,” the taxi operators said in the complaint.

According to the complaint, the Nissan NV200 is untested in city stop-and-go traffic, uses “outdated engineering, design and technology,” doesn’t employ hybrid or electric power, wouldn’t be able to withstand years of cab usage and would require replacement parts manufactured outside the U.S.

“These new rules will improve service to the riding public without harming the industry, as the plaintiffs allege,” Kate O’Brien Ahlers, a spokeswoman for the city’s law department, said in an e-mailed statement. “We believe the suit lacks merit.”

Chris Keeffe, a Yokohama, Japan-based spokesman for Nissan, the country’s second-largest carmaker, declined to comment on the case.

Also sued were the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, its commissioner, David Yassky, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the majority owner of Bloomberg News’s parent company.

The case is Committee for Taxi Safety v. City of New York, 12104315-2012, Supreme Court of the State of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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