Correspondent, Detroit
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Oct 20, 2014

Deaths linked to GM ignition-switch defect rise to 29

DETROIT (Reuters) – A program to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch in General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) vehicles has approved two new death claims, bringing the total number of deaths linked so far to the switch to 29, according to a report released on Monday by the lawyer overseeing the program.

Since it began accepting claims on Aug. 1, the program has received a total of 1,517 claims for deaths and injuries, according to the report by the office of Kenneth Feinberg, who GM has tapped to run the program. The report listed all of the claims received and approved as of Friday.

Oct 20, 2014

Toyota recalls 247,000 vehicles in U.S. over Takata air bag issue

DETROIT, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp
recalled 247,000 cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in the United
States on Monday because they are equipped with potentially
defective front passenger air bag inflators from Japan’s Takata
Corp that can rupture and spray metal shrapnel,
according to U.S. safety regulators.

That raised the number of vehicles affected by regional
recalls launched in June by several automakers due to the Takata
air bags to more than 4.5 million.

Oct 18, 2014
Oct 17, 2014
Oct 17, 2014

GM’s top lawyer, hammered during recall hearing in Congress, to retire

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co’s (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) top lawyer will retire early next year, months after his department was heavily criticized for how it handled the automaker’s defective ignition switch that has been linked to at least 27 deaths.

Michael Millikin, 66, informed GM of his decision and the company will immediately begin an external search for his replacement, the No. 1 U.S. automaker said on Friday. He will remain general counsel, a position he has held since 2009, until a successor is named.

Oct 17, 2014
Oct 17, 2014

Fourth U.S. traffic death linked to Takata air bags

DETROIT/ORLANDO, Oct 17 (Reuters) – A fourth traffic death
in a Honda Motor Co car has been linked to a defective
air bag made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp,
according to a county medical examiner in Florida.

Hien Tran died Oct. 2, four days after her red 2001 Honda
Accord sedan struck another car in Orlando and the air bags
exploded, sending shrapnel at the 51-year-old woman, according
to the Florida Highway Patrol crash report and Orange-Osceola
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia. Tran may have
survived those injuries, the medical examiner said, but she also
suffered serious injuries to her head which were not caused by
the air bag shrapnel.

Oct 16, 2014
Oct 16, 2014

Third traffic death in U.S. linked to Takata air bags

DETROIT, Oct 16 (Reuters) – A fatal accident near Los
Angeles last year of a 2002 Acura sedan involved a Takata Corp
air bag, the third death in the United States linked to
a defective safety component made by the Japanese supplier,
according to local officials and the automaker.

Devin Xu, 47, died in an accident in the parking lot of a
bank in the commercial part of Alhambra in September 2013 even
though he was wearing his seat belt, and the Los Angeles County
Coroner’s Department report cited “apparent facial trauma due to
foreign object inside air bag.”

Oct 14, 2014

Sergio’s challenge: Build Jeep into FCA’s top global brand by 2018

DETROIT/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Auto analysts are skeptical that Sergio Marchionne, the hyperbolic chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)(FCAU.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), can meet his most ambitious goal: to nearly double Jeep’s global sales over the next four years.

Marchionne reiterated his aggressive target for boosting Jeep’s annual volume to 1.9 million, while pacing the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday during the newly merged company’s first day of trading.

    • 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."
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