Correspondent, Detroit
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Mar 19, 2014

U.S. says Toyota to pay $1.2 billion over safety issues

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, March 19 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp
will pay a record $1.2 billion to resolve a criminal
investigation into its handling of consumer complaints over
safety issues, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Toyota admitted it misled American consumers by concealing
and making deceptive statements about two safety issues, each of
which caused a type of unintended acceleration, the Justice
Department said.

Mar 19, 2014

Toyota in U.S. settlement over unintended acceleration: source

By Nate Raymond and Ben Klayman

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement of more than $1 billion with automaker Toyota Motor Corp, stemming from its handling of consumer complaints over unintended vehicle acceleration, a person briefed on the matter said.

The settlement could be announced as early as Wednesday, according to the source, who declined to be identified because the agreement was not yet public.

Mar 18, 2014

GM CEO says only learned of defective cars in late January

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Tuesday that she did not learn details about defective GM cars linked to 12 deaths until January 31, just two weeks after she took over as CEO and nearly 13 years after GM engineers first documented problems.

The automaker last month recalled more than 1.6 million cars from 2003 to 2007 to replace faulty ignition switches that could cause the engine to shut down and turn off the airbags. The first death linked to the defect occurred in Maryland in July 2005.

Mar 18, 2014

GM CEO says did not know details of defective cars until late January

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra said she did not learn details about defective GM cars linked to 12 deaths until January 31, just two weeks after she was named CEO and nearly 13 years after GM engineers first documented problems.

GM last month recalled 1.6 million cars from 2003 to 2007 to replace faulty ignition switches that could cause the engine to shut down and turn off the airbags. The first death linked to the defect occurred in Maryland in July 2005.

Mar 18, 2014

GM recalls 1.5 million more vehicles; CEO says ‘terrible things happened’

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co announced new recalls of 1.5 million vehicles on Monday and in a virtually unprecedented public admission by a GM chief executive, Mary Barra acknowledged the company fell short in catching faulty ignition switches linked to 12 deaths.

“Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened,” she told employees in a video message posted online. Barra said the company is changing how it handles defect investigations and recalls.

Mar 17, 2014

GM recalls another 1.5 million vehicles, to take $300 million charge

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co announced three more recalls on Monday, related to airbag deployment and other issues, and said it would take a $300 million charge primarily to cover the costs related to these actions as well as the previous recall for faulty ignition switches.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker, which will take the charge in the first quarter, did not provide a breakdown of how much was related to the ignition-switch recall of more than 1.6 million older-model vehicles that has hurt the company’s reputation since it was announced last month.

Mar 13, 2014

Auto industry files 18 percent more international patents in 2013

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The car industry’s international patent filings jumped 18 percent in 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said on Thursday, in part reflecting a push for new technologies to lower exhaust emissions.

“In line with growing investments in research and development, the automobile industry has seen a sharp increase in international patent filings over the last three years,” WIPO said in a statement.

Mar 13, 2014

GM waited on Ion recall despite awareness of fatal crashes

DETROIT/WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) – General Motors Co
waited more than two weeks to expand a major recall to
include the Saturn Ion and other compact cars, even though its
engineers were aware of four fatalities in crashes involving the
model, GM said in filings published on Wednesday.

In an amended submission to the U.S. National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, GM also said it had identified an
issue with the ignition switch, the central failing in the
recall of more than 1.6 million cars, in 2001 preproduction
testing on the Ion.

Mar 13, 2014

GM recommends light key rings after recall

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Wednesday that even after the vehicles in its ignition-switch recall are repaired, owners should avoid weighing down their key rings with anything more than the key and fob.

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said a Senate subcommittee plans to hold a hearing in early April on GM’s recall last month of more than 1.6 million vehicles with the faulty ignition switches which have been linked to 12 deaths. Most of the affected cars were sold in the United States.

Mar 12, 2014

GM urges drivers stick to sparse key ring even after recall repair

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday that even after the vehicles in its ignition-switch recall are repaired, owners should avoid weighing down their key rings with anything more than the key and fob.

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said a Senate subcommittee plans to hold a hearing in early April on GM’s recall last month of more than 1.6 million vehicles with the faulty ignition switches which have been linked to 12 deaths. Most of the affected cars were sold in the United States.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Klayman is based in Detroit and in April was named leader of the global automotive team for Reuters. Previously, Ben covered the business of sports as well as consumer and retail for three years and led the manufacturing/housing team for four years. He also covered the telecommunications sector for three years. He joined Reuters in Detroit in 1998 to cover autos. Prior to joining Reuters, he worked at a series of daily newspapers in Ohio and Maryland. Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English literature."
      Joined Reuters:
      1998
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