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Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:49:32 UT

Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people. The company's bankruptcy filings cleared the way for a $1.6 billion takeover of most of Takata's assets by rival Key Safety Systems, which is based in Detroit but owned by a Chinese company. Under its agreement with Key, remnants of Takata's operations will continue to make inflators to be used as replacement parts in the recalls, which are being handled by 19 affected automakers. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Monday it was setting up "advice windows" to help any affected small and medium-sized suppliers that might face difficulties due to Takata's troubles. The scope of the recalls means some car owners face lengthy waits for replacement parts, meanwhile driving cars with air bags that could malfunction in a crash. The lead attorney for people suing the automakers said in a statement following the announcement that he doesn't expect the bankruptcy to affect the pending claims against the companies. Key makes inflators, seat belts and crash sensors for the auto industry and is owned by China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. Its global headquarters and U.S. technical center is in Sterling Heights, Michigan.



Takata files for bankruptcy, overwhelmed by air bag recalls

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 04:10:49 UT

Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S. on Monday, saying it was the only way to ensure it could carry on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people. With the company rapidly losing value while Takata struggled to reorganize its finances, filing for bankruptcy protection was the only option, Takata's president, Shigehisa Takada, told reporters. Under the agreement with Key, remnants of Takata's operations will continue to make inflators to be used as replacement parts in the recalls, which are being handled by 19 affected automakers. The scope of the recall means some car owners face lengthy waits for replacement parts, meanwhile driving cars with air bags that could malfunction in a crash. The lead attorney for people suing the automakers said in a statement following the announcement that he doesn't expect the bankruptcy to affect the pending claims against the companies. Key makes inflators, seat belts and crash sensors for the auto industry and is owned by China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. Its global headquarters and U.S. technical center is in Sterling Heights, Michigan.



Q&A: A look at Takata's bankruptcy and air bag recalls

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:31:55 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the U.S., acknowledging that the financial problems caused by millions of faulty air bag inflators that can kill or injure people were too much to overcome. Takata's assets are expected to be sold for $1.6 billion to a rival company, Key Safety Systems, and part of Takata will remain under a different name to make replacement inflators for the recalls. Three independent reports concluded that the chemical Takata uses to inflate its air bags — ammonium nitrate — can degrade after long-term exposure to environmental moisture and high temperatures. If the ammonium nitrate degrades substantially, it can cause the inflators to become over-pressurized and rupture during air bag deployment. In the air bags being recalled, Takata didn't use a chemical desiccant, a drying agent that can counteract the effects of moisture. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a complete list of models covered by current and future Takata recalls. Owners should input the car's vehicle identification number, or VIN, which can be found on the title or registration card, or on the driver's side dash or door jamb. The government says vehicles younger than six years old aren't currently at risk of an air bag inflator rupture even if they're in a high humidity region, because it takes time for the ammonium nitrate to degrade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that front air bags have saved 43,000 lives since they were required in the 1990s.



SpaceX launches 10 satellites from California air base

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:10:47 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A SpaceX rocket carried 10 communications satellites into orbit from California on Sunday, two days after the company successfully launched a satellite from Florida. About 7 minutes after liftoff, the rocket's first-stage booster returned to earth and landed on a floating platform on a ship in the Pacific Ocean, while the rocket's second stage continued to carry the satellites toward orbit. The new satellites also carry payloads for joint-venture Aerion's space-based, real-time tracking and surveillance of aircraft around the globe, which has implications for efficiency, economy and safety — especially in remote airspace over the oceans.



Japanese air bag maker Takata, overwhelmed by lawsuits, recall costs, files for bankruptcy protection

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:02:06 UT

UNDATED (AP) — Japanese air bag maker Takata, overwhelmed by lawsuits, recall costs, files for bankruptcy protection .



Government websites hacked with pro-Islamic State rant

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:06:19 UT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Government websites, many of them in Ohio, were hacked Sunday with a message that purports to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group. A message posted on the website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries." The same message also infiltrated government websites in the town of Brookhaven, New York, according to news reports in that state, as well as the website for Howard County, Maryland. Several other government websites were hacked in Ohio, including that of first lady Karen Kasich, Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Casino Control Commission.



The Latest: SpaceX launches satellites from California base

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:36:22 UT

SpaceX has succeeded in landing a Falcon 9 first-stage booster on a vessel in the Pacific after a launch from California. Iridium plans to launch 75 new satellites for its mobile voice and data communications system by mid-2018. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off at 1:25 p.m. PDT Sunday from the coastal base carrying 10 more satellites for Iridium Communications. Iridium plans to launch 75 new satellites for its mobile voice and data communications system by mid-2018.



UK Parliament investigates cyberattack on user accounts

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:31:14 UT

LONDON (AP) — British officials were investigating a cyberattack Saturday on the country's Parliament after discovering "unauthorized attempts to access parliamentary user accounts." An email sent all those affected described a "sustained and determined attack on all parliamentary user accounts in an attempt to identify weak passwords," according to The Guardian newspaper.



Britain's Parliament says it is investigating a cyberattack on users' accounts

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:41:58 UT

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Parliament says it is investigating a cyberattack on users' accounts.



Grand jury indicts man in killing of runner in Massachusetts

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:43:57 UT

Grand jury indicts man in killing of runner in Massachusetts The Worcester resident was arrested in connection with the death of 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte last August in Princeton, a small town 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Boston.



US rig count rises this week by 8, to 941

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:37:28 UT

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by eight this week to 941. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that 758 rigs sought oil and 183 explored for natural gas this week.



Sears closes another 20 stores

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:23:43 UT

Real estate investment trust Seritage, which owns the 20 real estate properties, confirmed the closings— 18 Sears stores and two Kmart stores — in a government filing Friday. The closures come in addition to the closing of 226 stores — 164 Kmart stores and 62 Sears stores— already announced this year, according to research firm Fung Global & Retail Technology, which tracks retailers' closings.



Video of gaming Seattle officer discussing shooting removed

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:19:59 UT

SEATTLE (AP) — After an online outcry, a Seattle Police Department video in which an officer playing a video game discussed the recent fatal police shooting of a pregnant mother has been removed from social media. [...] a video posted Wednesday in which Sgt. Sean Whitcomb discussed Sunday's fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles struck many as inappropriate, although Whitcomb's video-game character just walked around rather than firing any shots. [...] the question has to be asked, 'What are the merits of this channel if you're not going to talk about the things people most want to hear about?' It just seemed really phony to not talk about the most significant and certainly one of the most tragic events in our city in years, on a stream that exists in a public space.



Google to stop reading your Gmail to help sell ads

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:17:53 UT

[...] instead of scanning through email content, the company's software will rely on other signals to determine which ads are most likely to appeal to each of its 1.2 billion Gmail users. The paid Gmail doesn't include ads, so the company has never tried to scan the content of those users' emails for marketing purposes. Both Microsoft and Apple have publicly skewered Google for having the audacity to mine users' emails for ad sales, but those attacks didn't undercut Gmail's popularity.



Sonic, Forestar post gains; BlackBerry, Regeneron fall

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:13:57 UT

The home goods retailer posted earnings and revenue that missed analysts' forecasts. The technology company confirmed it had received an offer from Siris Capital Group to be acquired for $18 a share in cash. Energy companies did better than the rest of the market as prices for crude oil and natural gas turned higher.



How major US stock market indexes fared on Friday

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:55:14 UT

How major US stock market indexes fared on Friday U.S. stock indexes nudged higher Friday after energy companies clawed back some of their sharp losses from earlier in the week. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 2.53 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 21,394.76.



US indexes inch higher as energy stocks claw from the hole

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:53:10 UT

Rising prices for oil and natural gas drove the gains. Technology companies, meanwhile, are forecast to report strong growth in the upcoming earnings season, and Oracle's profit report on Wednesday sailed past analysts' expectations. "In terms of the overall market, what you really worry about with oil is what it does to earnings," said Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager at Federated Investors. A big pickup in corporate profits has been one of the main reasons for the stock market's continued climbs this year, and energy companies had been forecast to provide some of the strongest growth in 2017. [...] the IHS Markit composite purchasing managers' index indicated that job creation and business confidence were still robust. Heating oil was close to flat at $1.37 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.43 per gallon.



Markets Right Now: US stock indexes end slightly higher

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:12:59 UT

Stocks ticked higher as energy companies clawed back some of their sharp losses from earlier in the week. Energy companies benefited from a second day of gains in oil prices. Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 11.5 percent after the household goods seller reported earnings that fell far short of what analysts were looking for. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street, led by declines in retailers and health care companies. Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 11.5 percent in the first few minutes of trading after the household goods seller reported earnings that fell far short of what analysts were looking for.



Seattle open homes in market with shortage of homes for sale

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:12:29 UT

Findings from Seattle-based real estate data firm Zillow show there are 22 percent fewer homes for sale on the Seattle market from a year ago.




Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:43:31 UT

The automaker issued a statement Friday that outlines its defense against claims that Honda should compensate car owners because the use of Takata air bags caused their vehicles to lose value. Many are suing Takata as well as Honda and other automakers over deaths and injuries, and for loss of value of their cars. Unlike other air bag makers, Takata uses the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate to inflate air bags, but it can deteriorate over time and burn too fast. Peter Prieto, lead attorney for the Takata plaintiffs, said in a statement that the engineer's email is one of many that lawyers have uncovered showing that Honda was aware of the safety risks of Takata inflators. "Even after dozens of air bag ruptures killed or seriously injured Honda customers, Honda continued to equip its vehicles with dangerous Takata air bags and waited years to take action to protect consumers," the statement said.



Kansas jury awards $218M to farmers in Syngenta GMO suit

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:47:04 UT

(AP) — A Kansas federal jury awarded nearly $218 million on Friday to farmers who sued Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its introduction of a genetically engineered corn seed variety. Syngenta vowed to appeal the verdict favoring four Kansas farmers representing roughly 7,300 growers from that state in what served as the first test case of tens of thousands of U.S. lawsuits assailing Syngenta's decision to introduce its Viptera seed strain to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports. The lawsuits allege Syngenta's move to market the seed variety before China's clearing of it for imports wrecked an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn, causing years of depressed corn prices. Chinese companies are engaged in a multibillion-dollar global buying spree to acquire technology and brands, a move to improve their competitive edge as explosive growth in their home economy slows.



No job? Tips for teens to fill idle summer time

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:54:37 UT

Some still find traditional summer work, while others spend their summers doing a variety of activities and work that can help them pad their college applications. After two summers of training, she got a work permit from school and applied to work part-time at a local upscale health club as a childcare worker. For most of August, she'll be an intern with a local theater company and performing arts academy, doing sound for summer productions. Don't focus on opportunities that look good, so much as opportunities that interest your teen since then there's a higher chance she'll stick with it, and that's a large part of what colleges want to see: consistency, commitment, intellectual curiosity, maturity and initiative. Erin Goodnow, founder and CEO of Going Ivy, a college admissions consulting group in Phoenix, Arizona, echoed Zimmerman's advice. Getting ahead of the admissions process is also a good idea, said Andy Bills, senior vice president for enrollment at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina. Bills suggests using the summer months to write and edit college entrance essays, visit top five colleges and get familiar with application deadlines.