DETROIT (AP) — The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf got top safety ratings in some of the first-ever tests of electric cars by an insurer-funded research group. Both cars earned top scores for front, side and rear-impact crashes and for rollover crash protection, according to results released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators trying to determine why the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet cracked open in flight have issued preliminary findings suggesting there may have been flaws in the riveting work when Boeing built the plane 15 years ago. The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that some of the rivets used to bind the Boeing 737's aluminum panels together were sunk in holes larger than the rivet shafts.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford posted its best first-quarter profit in 13 years, as its new, more fuel-efficient vehicles reached showrooms during a surge in gasoline prices. New arrivals such as the Ford Explorer and Fiesta small car are selling well. Company profits are growing around the world.
Investigators trying to determine why the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet peeled open in flight this month are focusing on the manufacturing process at Boeing. Government and industry officials say investigators noticed that the stricken jet and five other Southwest planes that had cracks in their metal skins were all built at about the same time in the same Boeing plant.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it has idled three overseas factories to conserve auto parts following last month's earthquake in Japan. Assembly plants in Pretoria, South Africa, and Nanjing, China, will be down this week. Spokesman Todd Nissen says the factories had been scheduled to shut down for a week later this year, but the downtime was pulled ahead.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of "pedophile!" and "pornographer!" stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn't need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.
RACINE, Wis. (AP) — An Australian company that makes containers for needles and medical waste is opening a processing plant in Racine County. Daniels Sharpsmart has leased a 22,000 square-foot building in Yorkville. The company will install a sterilization system controlled by robots that alone will cost $1.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you're worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first place. After all, how smart is an iPhone or an Android if you can't use it to map your car trip or scan reviews of nearby restaurants? The debate over digital privacy flamed higher this week with news that Apple Inc.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Johnson Controls Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings climbed 29 percent on higher revenue as each of its main business segments reported double-digit sales increases amid a recovering global economy. But the Milwaukee company, which makes auto parts and building climate control systems, forecast third-quarter earnings and revenue below Wall Street expectations, however.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has been hit by a second computer virus, a senior military official said Monday, suggesting it was part of a concerted campaign to undermine the country's disputed nuclear program. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of an Iranian military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, said that experts discovered the "espionage virus," which he called "Stars.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A major pharmaceutical company will add 150 workers in Durham as it expands to produce chickenpox and other live-virus vaccines. The Herald-Sun of Durham reported Monday that Merck & Co.'s plant will begin making Varivax, a chickenpox vaccine recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is almost certain to claim the title of world's biggest automaker this year, retaking the top spot from Toyota, which has been hurt by production problems since the Japanese earthquake and still can't escape the shadow of major safety recalls. The No. 1 title, a morale booster for the winner's employees and managers, would cap GM's remarkable comeback from bankruptcy.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Some of the new Chinese cars unveiled at this week's Shanghai Auto Show are affordable for millions of buyers — a happy development for Beijing that might prove costly for the global automakers producing them. General Motors Co. unveiled the 630 sedan, the first model from its new Baojun badge developed with Chinese joint venture partners.
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's car production in Japan plummeted a staggering 62.7 percent in March due to a parts supply crunch following the earthquake and tsunami. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top-selling automaker last year, said Monday its domestic production in March was 129,491 vehicles — the lowest since 1976 when Toyota began maintaining production figures.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S.-based automaker, is scheduled to report first-quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday. Ford had a very successful 2010, earning $6.6 billion, more than double what it made in 2009 and its largest profit since 1999. The company also cut the staggering debt it amassed to stay in business and avoid bankruptcy protection during the recession.
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net income rose 53 percent as demand for its tools rose in all business segments. The company said net income increased to $56.2 million, or 96 cents per share, from $36.8 million, or 63 cents per share. Sales rose 11.
ATLANTA (AP) — Kia Motors announced plans Thursday to begin manufacturing the Optima midsize sedan at itsplant in Georgia, a move expected to add about 700 jobs at the complex. Production on the 2012 Optima is set to begin in the third quarter of this year, Kia Motors said. The plant in West Point currently employs about 2,300 people and the work force is expected to grow to nearly 3,000 by year's end, according to the company.
Federal labor regulators are accusing Boeing Co. of illegally retaliating for a 2008 union strike by adding a non-union assembly line in South Carolina for its new 787 passenger jet. The complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board said the remedy should include moving the South Carolina assembly work back to Washington state, where it would be under union jurisdiction.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. said it is suing Apple Inc. for patent rights violations, only days after Apple sued Samsung for the same reason. Samsung is accusing Apple of violating its rights to 10 smartphone and computer patents. The company filed lawsuits Thursday in Seoul, Tokyo and Mannheim, Germany.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers have begun checking the level of radiation on cars to be exported from the country in a bid to ease worries among foreign consumers, an industry group said Friday. The automakers will inspect radiation inside cars and on tires before shipment, said Hirokazu Furukawa, a spokesman for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.