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In brief: Truck brake failures studied

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a preliminary investigation into brake failure in 6 million older model Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup trucks.

The agency is looking at whether corrosion caused by the use of salt in snowy and icy conditions in northern states is damaging brake controls. GM said it is cooperating in the investigation.

The probe is in response to a motorist complaint of sudden loss of brake power and a longer-than-expected stopping distance after a corroded brake line burst.

Overall, NHTSA has received 110 complaints from drivers of 1999 through 2003 model Chevrolet and GMC C/K series pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. All of the complaints allege the loss of braking effectiveness due to brake-line rupture because of corrosion.

The agency is looking at the frequency, scope and safety consequences of the alleged failures.

Los Angeles Times

Bonus boosts pay for Nordstrom

Seattle – The president of Nordstrom Inc. received a 50 percent pay boost last year as upscale department store operator worked its way out of a recessionary slump to keep up with shoppers’ new frugal habits.

Blake W. Nordstrom’s total compensation was valued at $3 million in 2009 and most of the increase was tied to a bonus related to the company’s performance last year.

His base salary totaled $700,000 in 2009, about the same as 2008. He received a performance-related bonus of $1.2 million. In the prior year, he did not receive the bonus.

His 2009 compensation also included stock options and restricted stock valued at $1 million on the day they were granted, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2008, he received similar awards valued at $1.1 million.

Nordstrom, 49, received perks valued at $43,760 in the company’s fiscal 2009, which ended in January. That figure was less than the $66,000 in perks he received from the previous year. The bulk of his perks in 2009 came from $32,055 in merchandise discounts, which the company said in the filings it provides so employees can be familiar with merchandise and the customer experience.

Associated Press