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Chevrolet bringing tiny Trax SUV to U.S. and China PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 06:17

NEW YORK (AP) — Chevrolet's smallest SUV is heading to its biggest markets.

The Chevrolet Trax will go on sale in the U.S. and China early next year. General Motors Co. unveiled the 2015 model Tuesday evening ahead of the New York International Auto Show.

GM thinks young buyers and downsizing Baby Boomers who like the Chevy Equinox and the Honda CR-V will go even smaller, as long as they can still sit up high. The Trax, which shares a platform with Chevrolet's Sonic subcompact, is the same length as a Volkswagen Beetle — 168.5 inches.

The compact SUV's dimensions (and engine, for that matter) are the same as GM's new Buick Encore, which has seen stronger-than-expected sales since it went on sale in January 2013. Encore sales more than doubled in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year. The Trax has been sold since 2012 in Canada and Mexico. It is sold as the Chevrolet Tracker in Russia , South America and other markets.

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GM to ask bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 06:02

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.

The automaker's strategy is in a motion filed in a Corpus Christi, Texas, federal court case, and in other cases across the nation that involve the defective ignition switches that have led GM to recall 2.6 million small cars.

The motion asks U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to delay action on the lawsuit until the bankruptcy court rules and other federal courts decide if the case should be combined with other lawsuits. But GM says it's not asking to halt action on a motion to force GM to tell customers not to drive their cars that are being recalled.

GM has said at least 13 deaths have been linked to the switch problem. The switch can unexpectedly slip out of the "run" position, shutting down the engine, knocking out power-assisted steering and power brakes, and disabling the air bags. GM admits knowing about the problem for at least a decade, but it didn't start recalling the cars, including Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions, until February.

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Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 06:04

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

CTIA-The Wireless Association announced that under a "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," the companies including Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., U.S. Cellular Corp., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have agreed to provide a free preloaded or downloadable anti-theft tool on smartphones sold in the U.S. after July 2015.

Owners' options will include remotely removing a smartphone's data and preventing reactivation if a phone is stolen or lost, the association said.

It appears the wireless industry has somewhat reversed course as law enforcement and elected officials in the U.S. demand that manufacturers implement a "kill switch" to combat surging smartphone theft across the country. Industry officials have previously said putting a permanent kill switch on phones has serious risks, including the potential that hackers could activate it.

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Detroit strikes second deal with its other retirees PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ED WHITE, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 06:01

DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit reached tentative agreements to preserve pensions for retired police office and firefighters but cut monthly payments for other former employees, key deals that could accelerate the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.

Negotiators for the general pension fund, which pays benefits to retirees who didn't work in public safety, agreed to a 4.5 percent cut and the elimination of cost-of-living payments, fund spokeswoman Tina Bassett said.

Despite the cuts, it's a vast improvement over the drastic 26 percent reduction that had been proposed by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who is guiding the city through the bankruptcy process.

"This was the best possible agreement we could make," Bassett told The Associated Press.

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