Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honda recalled more than 35,000 Civic hybrids in the United States to fix a problem with the electrical system that could cause the headlights to turn off or the engine to stall.

Separately, Toyota recalled about 22,000 SUVs and trucks to address faulty tire-pressure monitoring systems and Chrysler recalled about 20,000 Jeep Wranglers over steering issues.

Honda Motor told the government its recall would cover 2006-and 2007-model Civic hybrids. The company said the voltage converter that relays power from the motor assist system to the vehicle's electrical components could fail. Dealers will replace the voltage converter at no charge.

Toyota's recall includes some versions of the 2008-11 Toyota FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Tacoma and Tundra. The systems to monitor tire pressure did not comply with federal standards.

- Associated Press

consumer spending

Auto loans increase; credit card debt falls

Consumers borrowed more in January to buy new cars but were once again frugal with their credit cards, offering a mixed sign of their confidence in the economy.

Borrowing rose $5 billion, or 2.5 percent, the Federal Reserve said. It was the fourth monthly gain, and it increased total consumer debt to $2.41 trillion.

Strong car sales drove the increase. The category that includes auto loans rose 6.9 percent.

But credit card debt fell 6.4 percent in January - the 28th decline in 29 months - to the lowest level since September 2004.

- Associated Press


United Continental to hold flight count steady

United Continental Holdings is scrapping plans to add flights this year and says it will drop unprofitable routes because of rising fuel prices.

The announcement from the world's largest airline company is the latest example of airlines shifting plans because of the run-up in oil prices. Southwest Airlines matched an industry-wide fare increase, and the smaller Frontier Airlines said it would reduce growth plans.

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