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AutoNation stops sales of cars in air bag recalls

From Wire Reports

DETROIT – The head of the nation’s biggest car dealership chain says it won’t sell used cars being recalled for exploding air bags because of conflicting advice from automakers and lack of direction from the government.

The recalls are giving the auto industry a black eye because they are “confusing and incoherent,” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said Tuesday in an interview.

Ten automakers have recalled more than 12 million cars with air bags made by parts supplier Takata Corp. The air bags can inflate with too much force, blowing apart metal canisters and sending shards flying at drivers and passengers. Some automakers have limited recalls to a few Southern states with high humidity, while others have expanded them. Still others have done national recalls for similar problems. Dozens of models made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota dating to the 2001 model year are covered by the recalls.

AutoNation, a 277-franchise chain that’s in 15 states, won’t sell any of the cars if they are being recalled under supervision of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Home prices creep up slowly

WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices grew more slowly in August amid modest sales, a trend that could help make homes more affordable in the months ahead.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5.6 percent in August from 12 months earlier. That’s down from 6.7 percent in July and the smallest gain since November 2012.

DALLAS – American Airlines and US Airways will combine their frequent-flier programs early next year and, for now, still base free flights on how many miles customers fly.

Competitors Delta and United plan to base awards on how much customers spend, which helps travelers who buy expensive first-class and business-class tickets.

But executives of American Airlines Group Inc. said Tuesday that they want to deal with the mechanics of folding the US Airways program into American’s AAdvantage before addressing such a major change. The combined program will have about 100 million members.

First non-U.S. Macy’s planned

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Middle East will be getting the world’s first Macy’s department store outside the United States, and just for good measure, its second Bloomingdale’s, too.

Property developer Gulf Related and Dubai-based retail conglomerate Al Tayer Group said Tuesday that they plan to open both stores in a new shopping center being built in the United Arab Emirates’ oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi.

The mall on Al Maryah island, Al Maryah Central, is due to open in 2018. The nearby Emirati city of Dubai already hosts the first overseas branch of Bloomingdale’s. That outpost opened in 2010 in the vast Dubai Mall, one of the world’s bigger shopping centers, set at the base of the world’s tallest tower.

Consumer confidence rises

WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in October, hitting a seven-year high as solid job gains raised expectations for economic growth.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its confidence index climbed to 94.5, the strongest reading since October 2007 and the start of the recession a few months later. This month’s gains reversed a revised decline to 89 in September from 93.4 in August.

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