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Two more recalls push GM total to 4.8 million in a month PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writers   
Saturday, 29 March 2014 07:14

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors announced two more recalls late Friday, bringing to 4.8 million the number of cars, trucks and SUVs the automaker has called back for repairs in the past month.

The string of recalls, topped by an ignition switch problem in compact cars now linked to 13 crash deaths, has embarrassed the company and sidetracked its new CEO, who started work just over two months ago. GM has admitted knowing about the switch problem a decade ago, yet it didn't recall any cars until February. The recall delay has brought two congressional investigations and probes by the Justice Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Late Friday night, GM announced it would recall 490,000 late-model pickup trucks and SUVs because transmission oil cooling lines weren't secured properly in their fittings. Transmission oil can leak from a fitting and hit hot surfaces, causing fires, the company said in a statement. GM said it knows of three fires and no injuries.

The recall affects Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks from the 2014 model year, as well as 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs. All have six-speed automatic transmissions.

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McDonald's offers free coffee for breakfasters PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 09:41

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

The world's biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

McDonald's said that this is the first time it's ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

The Oak Brook, Ill., company is hoping that the coffee giveaway will bring in new customers. It's also a way to get existing customers to come in more frequently. And it's likely that those stopping by for a free coffee will be tempted to pick up a breakfast sandwich or other items while there.

Breakfast is an important component of McDonald's business, comprising about 20 percent of its U.S. sales.

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U.S. consumer spending up modest 0.3 percent PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer   
Friday, 28 March 2014 09:46

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent slightly more in February but the gain still left consumer spending growing at a modest pace, held back by severe winter weather.

Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in February following a 0.2 percent rise in January, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The spending increases would have been even weaker except for a surge in spending on utility bills. In February, spending on durable goods such as autos actually dropped as consumers stayed away from auto dealerships. Service spending, which covers utility payments, rose.

Analysts say consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, slowed significantly in the current quarter and will depress overall economic growth. But they are looking for a rebound in the second quarter.

The report showed that after-tax income was up 0.3 percent in February, the same as in January.

The saving rate edged up slightly to 4.3 percent of after-tax income compared to January, when the saving rate was 4.2 percent.

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Tesla to install shields to prevent car fires PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 28 March 2014 09:20

DETROIT (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors says it will install additional shielding to prevent roadway debris from damaging batteries and possibly causing a fire.

The company says it will retrofit the Model S with an aluminum bar, a titanium plate and another piece of aluminum. The shields are designed to ward off the type of debris that caused fires in two cars last year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating after the fires were reported. It was unclear what impact the shields will have on the probe. Tesla says the action is not a recall.

CEO Elon Musk says the Model S already has a high level of safety. He says the shields make the car even safer.

Tesla has sold about 22,000 Model S cars in the U.S.


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