Washington – The government ordered Toyota to turn over documents related to its massive recalls Tuesday, pressing to see how long the automaker knew of safety defects before taking action.
The Transportation Department is demanding that Toyota reveal when and how it learned of problems with sticking accelerators and with floor mats trapping gas pedals, and the company must respond within 30 to 60 days or face fines. Those defects and problems with brakes on new Prius hybrids have now led to the recall of 8.5 million vehicles.
Toyota said it was halting production temporarily at assembly plants in San Antonio, Texas, and Georgetown, Ky., to address concerns that too many unsold vehicles may be building up at dealerships because of the large recalls.
Burger King will revamp coffee
Miami – Burger King plans to launch a massive new coffee line as it tries to overhaul its breakfast menu and boost its slumping business.
The nation’s No. 2 burger chain will add Starbucks Corp.’s Seattle’s Best Coffee to all its U.S. restaurants in a phased roll-out that begins this summer, executives told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
The move takes a page from rival McDonald’s Corp.’s success with its McCafe line of coffee drinks, which have been credited with boosting its performance.
Payments late at record rate
New York – The percentage of homeowners late with mortgage payments hit another record during the last three months of 2009, and the pace at which they fell behind took a turn for the worse, a new report says.
For the fourth quarter, 6.89 percent of mortgage payments were 60 or more days past due, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. That’s up from 4.58 percent in the final three months of 2008. The previous record delinquency rate was 6.25 percent in the third quarter of 2009.
The latest report marked the 12th consecutive quarter – equal to three full years – that delinquency rates have risen from the previous year.
Gas prices fall to year’s low
New York – Motorists are still getting a break at the pump, as gasoline prices continued their monthlong slide on Tuesday, dropping to a new low for 2010.
Retail gasoline prices hit a nationwide average of $2.61 per gallon and fell below $2.40 in parts of the country; including Ohio, Oklahoma and Missouri, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.