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Shortage causes production halt

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 8, 2021

DETROIT – A widening global shortage of semiconductors for auto parts is forcing major auto companies to halt or slow vehicle production just as they were recovering from pandemic-related factory shutdowns.

Officials at Volkswagen, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan all say they have been hit by the shortage and been forced to delay production of some models in order to keep other factories running.

“This is absolutely an industry issue,” Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said in an email Friday. “We are evaluating the supply constraint of semiconductors and developing countermeasures to minimize the impact to production.”

If the chip shortage lasts, production cuts could reduce the inventory of cars, trucks and SUVs for sale in the U.S. and other markets. That comes at a time when the industry was just starting to replenish inventory lost when factories shut down last spring to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.

Deutsche Bank pays $130M fine

NEW YORK – Deutsche Bank agreed Friday to pay fines and penalties of about $130 million to avoid a criminal prosecution on charges it participated in a foreign bribery scheme to win business in Saudi Arabia.

Lawyers for the bank, which has longstanding ties to President Donald Trump, waived its right to face an indictment on conspiracy charges during a teleconference with a federal judge in New York City.

According to court papers, Deutsche Bank bribed intermediaries to make deals in Saudi Arabia between 2009 and 2016, labeling the payments as “referral fees” for consultants. In one instance around 2012, the bank paid one of its fixers $1,087,538 “and caused those payments to be falsely recorded in the company’s books, records and accounts,” the papers said.

Other intermediaries demanded financing for a yacht and for a house in France as compensation, the papers said.

From wire reports

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