Lyft's Terrifying Mustache Cars (Sans Mustache) Can Legally Drive in New York City Starting Tonight

Categories: Cabs, Cars

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Image via Facebook.
A Lyft car in absolutely not New York.
In news that will really bum out ride-sharing service Uber, other ride-sharing service Lyft can legally operate in New York City starting tonight at 7 p.m., the company announced on their blog. Lyft, which launched in 2012, operates in dozens of cities around the country already, where you can recognize their cars by the enormous, fuzzy, disquieting pink mustaches affixed to the front bumper. The company expanded operations into Rochester and Buffalo in April, and said they'd have cars in Brooklyn and Queens on July 11. (In New York, the company will reportedly opt to forego the mustaches.) That was unwelcome news to State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and top financial regulator Benjamin Lawsky, who filed a lawsuit against them earlier this month, saying the company's ride offerings amounted to an unlicensed livery service.

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Bay Ridge Nissan Dealership Fined $100,000 For Falsely Promising Bargains To People Who Lost Cars During Sandy

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Photo by C.S. Muncy
Post-Sandy wreckage on a roadside.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, scammers had a field day. There were people touting fake Sandy charities, fraudulent contractors who took money and left jobs half-done, or not done at all, and even a Queens woman who allegedly lied about losing her home during the storm to score almost a year of free hotel stays.

Bay Ridge Nissan, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, had a simpler con: promising special prices for anyone who'd lost their car during Sandy and wanted to replace it with a brand-new Nissan. The AG's office announced today that the dealership would pay $100,000 in restitution for the Sandy scam and various other deceptive business practices. Of that, $48,341 will go to 15 individual customers, and $50,000 will go to the state as a penalty.

And if you're wondering what the Sandy scam looked like, well, Bay Ridge Nissan is still advertising it on their website.

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Queens Man Sues Car Dealership Over an Escalating Series of Insane Events

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Image via Facebook.
Mamdoh Eltouby, driving.
Here's the short version: A Queens cab driver and father of three, Shahdat Tuhin, 41, is suing a Woodside car dealership called New York Motor Group, alleging that they sold him a lemon, and charged him much more than he'd agreed. He's upset about that. Longer version: According to the lawsuit he filed this month in federal court, Tuhin is also upset about other things he says the dealership did during the process of selling him that car, including defrauding him, deceiving him, and threatening to file for divorce on his behalf. (We'll explain in a minute, don't worry.)

Things got so out of hand, according to Tuhin, that New York Motor Group's owner, Mamdoh Eltouby, tried to run him over during a "peaceful protest" of the dealership's business practices.

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New York Is Third in the Nation in Electric Car Ownership

Categories: Cars

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Flickr/MotorBlog
A little bit of trivia to charge up to your Tuesday (had to, sorry): New York City is third among metropolitan areas in the country for electric car ownership, according to a study by automotive industry researchers R.L. Polk. Los Angeles and San Francisco top the list, and Seattle and Atlanta round out the top five.

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Here Are All the Words You're Not Allowed to Put on a Vanity Plate in New York

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Image via Flickr user coolmallu
We may have to get creative, like Virginia.
Why does anyone drive in New York? Operating an automobile in this city is terrifying, outrageously expensive, and statistically quite likely to result in a trip to the impound lot. (The Brooklyn Navy Yard is lovely this time of year, by the way, excellent for strolling through with gritted teeth and $185 cash in hand to get your goddamn car back). Plus, you can't text or sleep or get drunk or engage in ecstatic sexual congress or any of the myriad other activities people do on the subway, usually while sitting next to me.

But worst of all, we've discovered, you're not allowed to use your license plate to telegraph to other drivers what an EZLAY you are. The same goes for HOOKER, VOMIT, CL1T and several dozen other very tasteful vanity plates that the state of New York has decided are permanently off-limits.

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Two Rikers Officers Die In Crash On Kings Highway, Four Loko Found At Scene

Categories: Cars, John Surico
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Early yesterday morning, Africaque Smith and Tiffany Underwood, two corrections officers at Rikers Island, were driving along Kings Highway. At one point, their 2004 Nissan Murano veered off the road and into oncoming traffic. The two women's car hit an SUV driven by an off-duty police officer. The two were rushed to the nearby Brookdale Hospital and pronounced dead.

The unidentified officer in the SUV, on the other hand, was rushed to Kings County Hospital and remains in stable condition

Officials are unsure as to how the car lost control around 4:45am. Toxicology reports yet to be seen to figure out if the two were under the influence of some sort of substance. However, a Four Loko can was seen by reporters at the scene, leading officials to suspect that the hellish drink was involved. Also, after reviewing the crash, authorities are unsure as to who was driving but it has been confirmed that neither were wearing seat belts.

"An untimely death is always a tragedy and often feels more so during the holiday season," Department of Corrections Comissioner Dora Schriro said. "I speak for everyone when I extend heartfelt condolences to our two officers' families, friends and co-workers."

The two had been working at RIkers for some time; Smith since 2006 and Underwood since 2009. They had left work at 5:30pm the night before and why they were driving that late at night together has yet to be seen.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]

Mayoral Hopeful Bill de Blasio Gets Involved in Foreign Policy, Targets Iran

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Sam Levin
Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio speaks on 43rd Street near the United Nations this morning.
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Running for mayor of New York City? Well, you better stick your nose in some foreign policy issues -- and backing Israel certainly won't hurt your cause.

Enter Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who is expected to run for mayor in 2013, and who held a press conference this morning -- on a plaza on 43rd Street overlooking the United Nations -- to announce the launch of a consumer action campaign to pressure companies to stop doing business in Iran.

Backed by groups Iran180 and United Against Nuclear Iran, de Blasio unveiled an interactive website called IranWatchList.com designed to target companies that are doing business with Iran and in some cases allegedly selling directly to Iran's military. They are starting the campaign by focusing on twelve foreign car companies that continue to sell vehicles in Iran, despite economic sanctions.

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Driver Going Wrong Way On The FDR Drive Causes Crash, Two Die

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via @nysgo

A 26-year-old driver going the wrong-way on the FDR Drive was responsible for a crash that left two dead, Eyewitness News reported. The driver, in a Nissan Maxima, hit a Dodge Caravan driven by a 53-year-old man. The Caravan was going southbound -- the correct direction -- when the Nissan, coming northbound, hit. Both drivers were killed.


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City's First 20 mph 'Slow Zone' Implemented in the Bronx

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DOT
New York City's first "Slow Zone," a residential area of several blocks with maximum marked speeds of 20 miles per hour, has been unveiled in the Claremont section of the Bronx. The Daily News reports that 46 people were injured or killed in the Community Board 3 neighborhood, which includes Claremont, between 2006 and 2010. In fascinating yet morbid statistical information, if you're hit by a car going 20 miles per hour, you have a 95% chance of surviving, which drops to 30% if the car is going 40 miles per hour.

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Street Closures for New York City Today

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With the 9/11 commemoration taking place in lower Manhattan as well as two presidents' presence and the elevated security measures following a "credible, but unconfirmed" threat of a "vehicle-borne" terrorist attack, there are a myriad of street closures in New York today. Plan for a complicated commute all day, with unforeseen security measures being a very real possibility. After the jump, a list the locations and times of street closures.

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