March 6, 2010 in Business

In brief: Toyota accelerator test results sought


Washington – With Toyota Motor Corp. executives continuing to say that electronics problems are not causing sudden acceleration in its vehicles, two top lawmakers Friday demanded to see the proof.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., head of the panel’s investigations subcommittee, formally requested results from internal tests that Toyota has said rule out the electronic throttle control system as the source of the runaway acceleration.

They also asked the company that employees with “personal knowledge” of the testing be made available for congressional interviews.

The request came after the Department of Transportation released data Thursday showing that more than 60 people have complained of sudden acceleration incidents in vehicles that have been repaired by Toyota as part of the recalls to address the problem.

Toyota acknowledged receipt of the committee’s inquiry Friday and said that it would cooperate.

FDIC takes over four more banks

Charlotte, N.C. – Regulators on Friday shuttered banks in Florida, Illinois, Maryland and Utah, boosting to 26 the number of bank failures in the U.S. so far this year following the 140 brought down in 2009 by mounting loan defaults and the recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over Sun American Bank, based in Boca Raton, Fla.; Bank of Illinois of Normal, Ill.; Waterfield Bank in Germantown, Md.; and Centennial Bank in Ogden, Utah.

The FDIC was also unable to find a buyer for Centennial Bank, and it approved the payout of the institution’s insured deposits. As a result, checks to the retail depositors for their insured funds will be mailed on Monday.

The pace of bank seizures this year is likely to accelerate in coming months, FDIC officials have said.

Associated Press

New $100 will be harder to counterfeit

Washington – Aiming to stay a step ahead of counterfeiters, the government is planning a new design for the $100 bill that will be unveiled next month, the Treasury Department said Friday.

Wraps will come off the face-lift for Ben Franklin at an April 21 ceremony in the ornate Cash Room at the department, the site of Ulysses Grant’s first inaugural ball in 1869.

The government says its decisions on redesigning currency are guided by assessments of counterfeiting threats, from digital technology or old-fashioned printing presses.

The C-note circulates widely around the globe.

Associated Press

Countries will pay for Airbus overruns

Berlin – The nations that ordered the Airbus A400M military transporter have agreed to pay nearly $4.8 billion more to address cost overruns and keep the troubled project alive, manufacturer EADS NV and the German Defense Ministry said Friday.

The agreement was worked out by deputy defense ministers and industry representatives in a meeting in the German capital.

The A400M, a four-engine turboprop, is seen as inhabiting an important niche market between the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules and Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III.

Associated Press

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