DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating brake problems with the Nissan Altima and complaints of air bag troubles with the Jeep Wrangler. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website Friday that brake fluid can leak on the Altima midsize car, causing a loss of stopping power.
GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — Three workers have been critically injured in an explosion at a Middle Tennessee chemical plant where a January flash fire killed another worker. Gallatin Police said the accident that injured five at the Hoeganaes (HAY'-gan-eez) Corp. plant was reported at 6:37 a.m.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A foodservice packaging manufacturer has announced plans to invest in a new multimillion-dollar plant in southern Utah. Genpak says it will expand its operations with a new $22 million plant in Cedar City that will add 125 new jobs over the next five years to the company that already employs nearly 200 people in southern Utah.
BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — A supplier for Chrysler plans to open a new facility in northern Illinois, bringing 200 jobs to Belvidere. The Rockford Register Star reports Thursday that International Automotive Components will open a 172,000-square foot assembly plant in Belvidere. The company supplies vehicle interiors for the automaker Chrysler Group LLC.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers' global vehicle production plunged in April, especially in Japan where supplier plants were destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp. reported Friday that Japan production in April fell 74.5 percent to 79,341 vehicles while its global production declined 48 percent to 346,297 vehicles.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight manufacturers have voluntarily recalled about one million pool and in-ground spa drain covers because of incorrect water flow ratings. The U.S. Product Safety Commission announced the recall Thursday. The agency says the recalled covers could pose a possible entrapment hazard to swimmers and bathers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — From the United States to Europe and even to booming China, the global economy is showing signs of strain. Most major economies are expected to keep growing. But evidence is mounting that many around the world are struggling to expand as fast as they did last year. European governments are struggling with debts and squeezed budgets.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Spyker Cars NV's cash-strapped Swedish unit Saab Automobile on Friday resumed car production after a near seven-week standstill caused largely by payment problems to its suppliers. The long-awaited resumption came after Chinese group Pang Da last week agreed to buy a 24 percent stake in Spyker for €65 million ($92 million).
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Two men have admitted taking part in a massive scheme to defraud banks and investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars through a now-defunct western Pennsylvania soft-drink company. Jonathan Podlucky and Donald Pollinger pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a scheme that cost investors in Latrobe-based Le-Nature's Inc.
NEW YORK (AP) — Auto parts supplier Delphi Automotive PLC filed for a $100 million initial public offering, following former owner General Motors Co. back to public ownership. It's the latest auto-industry company to seek out an IPO as auto sales recover from their plunge during the recession.
RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. has purchased the rights to a technology that lets users inhale nicotine without smoking. The world's largest nongovernmental cigarette seller told The Associated Press on Thursday it has bought the patent for an aerosol nicotine-delivery system developed by Jed Rose, director of the Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
DETROIT (AP) — Honda's North American factories will return to near-normal production in August, the company said Thursday, much faster than expected following supply disruptions. The flow of auto parts was interrupted after Japanese factories were damaged by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, or stricken by the power outages that followed.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — General Motors Co. is adding 110 jobs to a Texas factory and investing $331 million to expand the plant to make full-size sport utility vehicles. The Arlington, Texas, factory will make Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades. The plant, which currently has 2,400 employees, opened in 1954 and was expanded in 2001 to 3.
H.J. Heinz Co.'s global expansion efforts are paying off, driving its fourth-quarter net income up 16 percent. But the world's biggest ketchup maker said it needs to raise prices and cut jobs to continue its profitable path. The company, based in Pittburgh, announced Thursday that it will shed up to 1,000 jobs globally in fiscal 2012 as it closes five factories.
PALO ALTO, California (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it plans to raise up to $214.3 million by selling common stock. A portion of the proceeds will be used to develop a crossover vehicle. Tesla plans to sell 5.3 million shares to the public, and up to 795,000 more to the underwriter, at $26 each, according to a regulatory filing.
MIDDLETON, Mass. (AP) — An internal investigation has determined that an explosion at a Middleton chemical plant that sent four workers to the hospital was caused when two valves were left open, allowing a building to fill with flammable vapors that were ignited by an internal ignition source.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A spacewalking astronaut got soap in his eye and almost had to retreat into the safety of the International Space Station on Wednesday. Andrew Feustel said it stung "like crazy." But several minutes later, he said he was feeling better and the third spacewalk of shuttle Endeavour's final voyage continued as planned for about seven hours.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google Inc. is throwing another $55 million to the wind. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant is partnering with Citigroup Inc. to help finance the Alta Wind Energy Center wind farm in California's Tehachapi Mountains. Google has been investing hundreds of millions in wind energy as it seeks reliable new ways to power its massive server farms, or data centers, which are notorious power hogs.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — First came organic, then free-range, then local. Now discerning diners with a penchant for spending a premium to know where food comes from are pushing DNA-traceable meat onto restaurant menus. The technology — which allows meat to be traced from the farm to the fridge — has been used in Europe and other countries for decades, but has been slow to catch on in America.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Whistleblowers who report corporate fraud or other misconduct to the government could receive sizable cash awards under new rules adopted Wednesday by federal regulators. Tipsters would be eligible if they give the Securities and Exchange Commission information that leads to an enforcement action resulting in more than $1 million in penalties.