The judge who will allocate responsibility for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has told lawyers to give him their views about whether a series of negligent acts can add up to gross negligence. The Justice Department and private plaintiffs' attorneys contend that BP PLC acted with gross negligence before the blowout on April 20, 2010. If U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier agrees, BP's civil penalties could soar.
Nissan Motor Co. officials say an employee of a supplier died in a fatal accident at its vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The employee of Lake Orion, Mich.-based Complete Automation was killed Thursday in the factory's paint plant. Bob Light, a spokesman for Complete Automation, said the employee was killed when a large electrical panel fell while it was being moved.
Seoul said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. The statement by the country's minister in charge of inter-Korean relations came after North Korea rejected Seoul's demand for talks on the factory park that has been closed nearly a month.
Emporia officials are hailing Thursday's announcement by the partnership that bought Hostess Brands' snack cake lines that it will reopen the bakery in the eastern Kansas community this summer, with 250 employees to start. More than 500 people lost their jobs when Hostess, then in bankruptcy proceedings, closed the Emporia plant last November following a strike by union bakers.
Japan's transport minister said Friday the government is poised to allow Japanese airlines to resume flying grounded Boeing 787s once they complete installation of systems to reduce fire risk in problematic lithium ion batteries. The approval could come as early as Friday evening following an expected formal safety order from the U.S. federal regulators, Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta said.
After weeks of threatening rhetoric from the North, South Korea on Thursday promised its own unspecified "grave measures" if Pyongyang rejects talks on a jointly run factory park shuttered for nearly a month. The park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the most significant casualty so far in the recent deterioration of relations between the Koreas.
General Motors Co. boosted CEO Dan Akerson's pay package by 44 percent last year, as the value of his stock awards significantly increased. Akerson earned $11.1 million in salary and stock awards last year, compared with $7.7 million in 2011. The AP's calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded to the executive during the year.
Finnish metals group Outokumpu Oyj says it will slash 2,500 jobs worldwide in the next four years to cut costs by 350 million euros ($455 million) and improve profitability as stainless steel demand continues to fall. The world's leading stainless steel maker says about a third of the job cuts will be applied this year, mostly in Germany, Sweden and Finland, in line with production capacity reductions and streamlining.
Italian automaker Fiat is considering a plan to hold a public stock offering after the company buys 100 percent of Chrysler, according to a person briefed on the matter. The plan to sell shares of a combined company is among several options being evaluated by Sergio Marchionne, who serves as CEO of both automakers, said the person, who requested anonymity because no decision has been made.
A federal agency has cited an Ohio aluminum plant with eight safety violations following the death of a worker who was crushed by a hot metal rack stacked with heavy aluminum. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, said Thursday that Extrudex Aluminum acted with knowing disregard or plain indifference to hazards at the company's plant in North Jackson in northeastern Ohio.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is calling lawmakers back to the Capitol this Friday for what many hope will be a quick a special session to lure an auto parts maker to the state. Bryant has released few details about the project, beyond saying it's for Mississippi's "automobile corridor."
Virginia officials have rejected a request from electric car maker Tesla Motors to operate its own dealership at a Tysons Corner mall. State law requires manufacturers to sell cars through a dealer, unless the manufacturer can show that no dealer is available.
Boeing is aiming to begin delivering 787s again in early May. The 787 has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries. Federal authorities have approved Boeing's redesigned battery system. The new battery setup has been installed on 10 787s that belong to airlines, and on nine more that have been built but not delivered, said Boeing Co. Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney.
Europe's stubborn recession cut deeply into profits at major automakers Ford, Volkswagen and Daimler, first-quarter results showed Wednesday as the industry began reporting earnings. Germany's Volkswagen AG said its first-quarter net profit fell 38 percent to 1.95 billion euros ($2.5 billion), while Daimler AG's was down 60 percent at 564 million euros.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Wednesday it has identified the cause of a battery malfunction of its Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and will take recall procedures as soon as the effectiveness of preventive measures is confirmed.
An insurance industry trade group estimates losses from a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in a tiny Texas town will likely exceed $100 million. Insurance Council of Texas spokesman Mark Hanna said Wednesday that insured losses after the explosion in West, Texas, included dozens of damaged homes, businesses and cars — as well as the costs of resettling displaced residents.
Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell in March by the most in seven months. The drop reflected a steep decline in commercial aircraft demand and little growth in orders that signal future business investment. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods declined 5.7 percent in March. That followed a 4.3 percent gain in February, which was revised lower.
Newly released documents show that the Obama administration was warned as early as 2010 that electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. was not meeting milestones set up for a half-billion dollar government loan, nearly a year before U.S. officials froze the loan after questions were raised about the company's statements.
Ford Motor Co. reported a better-than-expected $1.6 billion profit in the first quarter as growing demand in the U.S. and China for its new vehicles helped overcome steep losses in Europe and South America. Ford said Wednesday that first-quarter net income rose 15 percent from a year ago. Worldwide sales rose 10 percent to nearly 1.5 million.
Toyota held onto its status as the world's top-selling automaker in the first quarter of this year, although the three-way race with General Motors and Volkswagen is proving tight, as its sales fall in China and Japan. Toyota Motor Corp. reported Wednesday it sold 2.43 million vehicles during the January-March period.