The year in business brought no shortage of good stories — including corporate shenanigans and misdeeds of L.A.’s wealthiest, key developments in the local labor movement and the complicated business of trying to secure permanent supportive shelter for the city’s unhoused.
Here’s a look at the top 20 most-read L.A. Times business stories of 2022 in descending order. Revisit some of your favorites. Check out what you might have missed. And be sure to let us know what stories you’d like to see us cover next year.
1. Tesla says its self-driving technology may be a ‘failure’ — but not fraud
In a class-action lawsuit, customers say they were duped by Tesla’s $15,000 Full Self-Driving feature. Company lawyers say failure isn’t fraud.
2. Gen Z is ready to break up with Tinder, and these new dating apps are here for the rebound
These companies say Gen Z is tired of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. They offer videos, memes and artificial intelligence-based dating apps instead.
3. Southern California grocery workers prepare for a strike: ‘We’ve walked through hell’
Grocery workers across Southern California began voting Monday to authorize a strike against supermarket chains to pressure the companies to raise wages.
4. In California’s largest race bias cases, Latino workers are accused of abusing Black colleagues
In the last decade, the two largest race discrimination cases brought by the federal government in the Golden State alleged widespread abuse of hundreds of Black employees at Inland Empire warehouses.
5. Twitter bots helped build the cult of Elon Musk and Tesla. But who’s creating them?
Elon Musk and Tesla have millions of vocal fans on Twitter. Not all of them are real. Two researchers are trying to figure out who controls the bots.
6. A year after opening 600 rooms to L.A.’s unhoused, the Cecil Hotel is still mostly empty. Here’s why
The Cecil Hotel was supposed to be an innovative new model for permanent supportive housing in L.A. Why is it struggling to fill rooms?
7. He found fame on ‘Real Housewives’ and sold a $70 million Malibu mansion. Then his trouble started
Mauricio Umansky, a “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” regular and star of a new Netflix show, is accused of self-dealing in the $70-million sale of a spectacular Malibu estate seized from the vice president of Equatorial Guinea. He denies any wrongdoing.
8. Column: That unbelievably racist ad during the Dodgers playoff? Ex-Trump aides were behind it
Stephen Miller and other Trump administration alumni are behind a surge of anti-immigrant bile airing during postseason baseball commercial breaks.
9. Column: Did Sweden beat the pandemic by refusing to lock down? No, its record is disastrous
A new study shows just how badly Sweden fared in the pandemic.
10. L.A. is banning most gas appliances in new homes. Get ready for electric stoves
Climate change spurred Friday’s unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council.
11. Streaming brought new ways to cheat at poker. Garrett Adelstein thinks he was a victim of one.
Pro poker player Garrett Adelstein risked his reputation, and maybe his career, when he accused another player of cheating him in a $269,000 hand. The clip, and the controversy, quickly went viral.
12. Why are rapid tests for COVID-19 in such short supply?
Government officials and private companies failed to anticipate the spike in demand for rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, but they are scrambling to close the gap.
13. An afternoon with Robbi Jade Lew, the woman at the center of the poker cheating scandal
Robbi Jade Lew invited me to a jeweler in an effort to prove her ruby ring didn’t help her win the Texas Hold ’Em hand that has rocked the poker world.
14. So who bought L.A.’s ‘The One’ mega-mansion? The owner of Fashion Nova
Richard Saghian, chief executive and founder of the online retailer Fashion Nova, confirmed to The Times that he submitted the winning bid for The One — the biggest residence in Los Angeles.
15. The truth about L.A.’s most notoriously expensive gas stations
You’ve seen the signs advertising $6.95, $6.99 or even $7.05 for a gallon of regular gasoline. But who’s buying it, and why?
16. Black Tesla employees describe a culture of racism: ‘I was at my breaking point’
In their own words, former Tesla employees describe what they call a racist work environment that led California to file a civil rights lawsuit against the company.
17. As inflation soars, how is AriZona iced tea still 99 cents?
Tall cans of AriZona iced tea have cost 99 cents since 1992. The family behind the company says it’s committed to that price even as the prices of aluminum and corn syrup climb higher.
18. Column: Here’s the ‘hall of shame’ of companies that haven’t left Russia
These companies are staying the course in Russia, to their discredit.
19. Horrific allegations of racism prompt California lawsuit against Tesla
Racist slurs were hurled daily at Black workers at Tesla’s California plant, delivered not just by fellow employees but also by managers and supervisors, California’s civil rights agency alleges in an explosive lawsuit filed against the company Thursday.
20. L.A.’s most extravagant mansion sells for less than half its list price
After years of construction, a foreclosure and a bankruptcy, the Bel-Air mega-mansion known as The One has sold at auction.