A pattern of “incompetence and neglect” led to the long failure to recall millions of General Motors small cars over a deadly ignition switch defect, but there was no conspiracy to hide the problem, chief executive Mary T. Barra said. ¶ Fifteen employees deemed responsible for not vigorously tackling the problem have been forced out of the company, and five others have been disciplined. ¶ The internal probe revealed an ingrained corporate culture in which employees failed to take responsibility for the ignition-switch problem or treat it with urgency. ¶ Sales of GM vehicles soared 13 percent last month — its best in six years — offering evidence that the scandal has not diminished the popularity of its vehicles. ¶ Business was up across its four brands — GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac.
The steel drill pipe on BP’s Macondo exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico buckled under extreme pressure and kept the blowout preventer from sealing the well during the April 2010 disaster that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig, according to a new report by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
Bank of America is reportedly negotiating to pay at least $12 billion to settle several federal and state civil probes for its role in the housing mess that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
Verizon sent a “cease and desist” letter to Netflix, telling it to stop blaming Verizon for bad video quality or face a lawsuit. Verizon is reacting to messages appearing on the screens of Netflix subscribers blaming Internet service providers for poor video quality. ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon want to be compensated for establishing fast links to Netflix, which says ISPs should cover the costs.
The Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million in a copyright violation case against beverage-maker Monster Energy, which had admitted wrongly using songs in a video that was online for five weeks.
U.S. railroads forced to turn over details of their crude oil shipments are asking states not to disclose the information. BNSF, Union Pacific and CSX are seeking agreements that the information about routes, train frequency and emergency responses won’t be publicly shared.
Chicago sued Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, and four other drug companies for allegedly pushing consumer use of opioid painkillers, creating addicts and driving up its costs. “Since 2007, the city has paid for nearly 400,000 claims for opioid prescription fills, costing nearly $9,500,000,” attorneys for the city said in a court complaint. It accused the drug companies of deceiving the public about the risks associated with the painkillers while overstating their benefits.
● Siemens is donating software worth more than $2 billion to seven Virginia universities and community colleges. The software is used in automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical device, electronics, shipbuilding and apparel industries.
San Francisco’s city attorney filed a charge of unfair labor practices against the city’s transit drivers union after some operators called in sick for a third day and left the famed cable cars idle.
Luxury automakers posted strong sales last month. BMW sales jumped 17 percent, while Mercedes reported a 7.7 percent increase.
The United States imposed new import duties of 35 percent on solar panels and other related products from China after the Commerce Department ruled they were produced using Chinese government subsidies.
Michigan’s Senate approved spending $195 million to help prevent steeper cuts in Detroit retiree pensions as part of a deal designed to shield valuable city-owned art from being sold and resolve the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Hillshire Brands authorized takeover talks with Tyson Foods and Brazil’s JBS as the $6.7 billion bidding war for the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs escalated.
Standard & Poor’s suffered a defeat in litigation accusing it of issuing misleading credit ratings before the 2008 financial crisis, as a federal judge ruled that lawsuits by 16 states and the District belong in state courts, not federal court. The decision by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan may raise the McGraw Hill Financial unit’s costs to defend itself and exposes it to a greater risk of multiple judgments, conflicting rulings and higher legal bills.
More than 77,000 foreign banks, investment funds and other financial institutions have agreed to share information about U.S. account holders with the IRS as part of a crackdown on offshore tax evasion.
Quality Egg, an Iowa company that once was one of the largest U.S. egg producers, has agreed to pay $6.8 million in fines for selling old eggs with false labels and the tainted products that caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2010.●
Apple’s latest operating system for its desktop and mobile devices received praise from developers but disappointed those hoping for a new device.
Sprint is reportedly closing in on an agreement to pay $40 a share to buy
T-Mobile US, drawing the two companies toward a deal to combine the country’s third- and fourth-largest telecom carriers.
A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy strengthening over the past two months in areas from manufacturing and construction to retail sales and bank lending. Seven of the Fed’s 12 regions — Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco — reported “moderate” growth during the early spring, while the remaining five described growth as “modest,” according to the Beige Book survey.
Two Fed officials warned in speeches that raising U.S. interest rates to fend off bubbles and other troubling signs of financial market unrest could undercut the Fed’s efforts to put the U.S. economy on a sounder footing. San Francisco Fed President John Williams touted alternative ways to use monetary policy to shore up the financial system’s ability to withstand shocks. Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota counseled a measure of tolerance for increasing financial stability risks, painting those risks as an unwanted, but unavoidable, side effect of the low rates the economy will need for years to claw its way back to normal.
Timothy Massad, a Treasury official who has promised to act aggressively against misconduct to ensure investors’ confidence, was approved as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The SEC said it would examine high-frequency trading and dark pools in an effort to cope with fast-changing technology.
The Secret Service wants to buy software that can detect sarcasm and double meanings on social media posts.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it is considering giving permission to seven movie and television filming companies to use unmanned aircraft for aerial photography.
Cable rage is real. More than half of Americans would abandon their cable provider if they felt they could, according to a survey of customers of the nation’s biggest cable providers: 53 percent of respondents said they’d leave their current cable company — if they had a choice. But as many as 70 percent feel stuck because their options are too limited.
— From news services and staff reports
The U.S. labor market grew in May as businesses created 217,000 net new jobs and the economy shook off winter doldrums. The strong report marks the fourth consecutive month that the country has added more than 200,000 jobs — a key benchmark for a healthy economy. The jobless rate held steady at 6.3 percent. With the gains, the country has recouped all jobs lost during the recession.