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GM’s third SUV recall held up over parts

Fri., Aug. 8, 2014

General Motors’ troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire.

The problem, revealed in documents posted by federal safety regulators this week, is so serious that GM is telling customers to park the SUVs outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended.

The vehicles will be left outside for a while. Parts won’t be ready until October at the earliest, according to GM. The automaker also has ordered its dealers to stop selling the SUVs as used cars until they are fixed.

The recall covers about 189,000 vehicles in North America, mainly from the 2006 and 2007 model years. Models affected include the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainer, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 97-X. The recall was one of six announced by GM on June 30 that covered 7.6 million vehicles.

GM is in the midst of the biggest safety crisis in its history, touched off by the delayed recall of 2.6 million older small cars to fix faulty ignition switches. The company has issued a record 60 recalls this year covering nearly 29 million vehicles.

Northwest consumers’ spending rising steadily

Consumers in Washington and Oregon have been spending more freely since the Great Recession ended in 2009, shelling out more for consumer goods in each of the past four years, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In 2012, per-person spending in both Northwest states eclipsed what they spent in 2007, when the nation’s economy was just starting to slump.

The new government report provides a state-by-state breakdown of spending from 1997 through 2012 for the first time, offering a glimpse into how and where households put their money.

Washingtonians spent more overall than many of their counterparts in the nation in 2012, the latest year for which figures are available. The Evergreen State ranked among the top 10 states for total personal expenditures.

In 2012, total consumer spending grew by 4.7 percent in Washington, which has seen steady gains in consumer activity since 2009. That year was the only time in the 15-year period when total consumer spending in the state dropped compared with the previous year.

Google, B&N team to take on Amazon.com

Google and Barnes & Noble, taking on their mutual rival Amazon.com, have paired up to offer same-day delivery of books purchased online.

The service, initially limited to three communities, launched Thursday as part of Google Shopping Express, which allows customers to purchase products from certain retailers and have them delivered later that day.

“We’re excited that people in San Francisco Bay Area, West LA and Manhattan will be able to use Google Shopping Express to get same-day deliveries from Barnes & Noble, joining our existing retail partners like Target, Costco and Staples,” Google said in an email.

Google Shopping Express charges $4.99 for a same-day delivery, but there is no per-delivery charge for subscribers to the service. Subscriptions are free for the first six months, but Google has not said how much they will cost after that. Amazon also offers same-day delivery in certain markets.

Barnes & Noble is hoping its new partnership will help it spur sales and undercut Amazon, the leader in the book retail business.


 

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