Arrow-right Camera

Business

In brief: Honda: Fit, Jazz can catch fire

Sat., June 29, 2013

DETROIT – Honda is urging the owners of more than 686,000 Fit and Jazz subcompacts worldwide to park them outside because the power window switches can catch fire.

The company said Friday that it is recalling Fit and Jazz cars from the 2007 and 2008 model years. It’s telling owners not to park them in garages until driver’s side door switches can be inspected.

Honda said water can get inside the door through an open window and damage the switches, causing them to overheat and potentially sparking a fire. The company said the problem hasn’t caused any injuries, but a spokesman said seven switches have melted and two caused fires in the doors. No structure fires have been reported, he said.

The recall covers more than 143,000 Fits in the U.S. and about 35,000 in Canada. The Fit and Jazz are the same car, but sold under different names in different markets.

The repairs will be made for free. Honda will start notifying owners about the recall in mid-July.

EU car emissions pact held up

BERLIN – The German government says it blocked a European Union agreement on capping carbon emissions from cars because the deal would have harmed its domestic auto industry.

Environmental campaigners had lobbied to limit emissions from passenger cars to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer within seven years.

Germany wants to allow automakers such as BMW, Daimler and Audi to collect “credits” they can use to offset higher pollution levels beyond 2020.

Government spokesman Georg Streiter said Germany asked for a decision on the issue to be postponed Thursday because “a fair solution also has to take account of the particularities of the German auto industry” whose emissions are above EU average.

Streiter said Friday that Germany “wouldn’t be doing so well today if the auto industry were doing badly.”

Ram pickup gets diesel option

DETROIT – Chrysler is adding a diesel engine to its light-duty Ram pickup truck lineup. The company is promising the best fuel economy of any full-size pickup in the U.S.

Chrysler wouldn’t release exact mileage figures, but spokesman Nick Cappa said the 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel engine will beat the 25 mpg the current gas-powered V-6 gets on the highway in the Ram 1500.

The company says the new turbocharged diesel makes 240 horsepower and has 420 foot-pounds of torque. Chrysler says the 2014 Ram will be the only light-duty diesel pickup on the market.

Cyprus credit rating lowered

NEW YORK – Standard & Poor’s has lowered its credit rating on Cyprus, knocking the debt-stricken island country from the lower rungs of junk status into “selective default” because of an announced debt exchange.

The Cypriot government is swapping some local bonds for longer-term bonds. Though that eases some of the immediate liquidity pressure on Cyprus, the S&P analysts said they thought the new bonds were on “less favorable terms” for investors than the existing bonds and that it was a “distressed exchange.”

Cyprus agreed to a $30 billion bailout deal in March with its eurozone partners and the IMF.


 

Click here to comment on this story »