New deadly flaw found in Takata air bags

A new problem has been found in air bags made by the now-bankrupt company Takata that has led to at least one death, government documents say.

The malfunction is different from the defect that led to at least 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide, though both flaws lead to air bags that can explode and hurl shrapnel, killing or injuring people.

The company is adding about 1.4 million front-driver inflators to recalls in the United States, according to the documents posted Wednesday.

A driver in Australia was killed by an air bag malfunction.

Included in the latest recall are more than 116,000 BMW 3-Series cars from the 1999 to 2001 model years. About 8,000 definitely have faulty inflators and should be parked, BMW said. The rest can still be driven.

In addition, certain Audi, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles made from 1995 to 2000 also are being recalled, but information on which models was not available Wednesday.


Service sector showed slow growth in November

Growth in the U.S. service sector slowed in November with service companies complaining about higher tariffs and the lack of qualified workers.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Wednesday that its service index slowed to a reading of 53.9 percent last month, down from an October level of 54.7 percent. A reading above 50 percent signals growth.

Businesses responding to the ISM survey expressed hope that trade wars would be resolved soon. They also said that they continued to be hampered in filling jobs by a shortage of workers.


Top executives at Expedia resign

Expedia Group said Wednesday that chief executive Mark Okerstrom and Chief Financial Officer Alan Pickerill will resign effective immediately after clashing with the board on the travel company’s direction.

Barry Diller, board chairman, and Vice Chairman Peter Kern will oversee the travel technology company’s leadership team and manage daily operations while the board looks for long-term leadership, according to a statement.

“Ultimately, senior management and the board disagreed on strategy,” Diller said in the statement. “Earlier this year, Expedia embarked on an ambitious reorganization plan . . . This reorganization, while sound in concept, resulted in a material loss of focus on our current operations, leading to disappointing third quarter results and a lackluster near-term outlook. ”

Also in Business

Companies added the fewest workers to payrolls in six months, a private report showed, underscoring a trend of moderating hiring amid pullbacks in corporate investment while pointing to a fourth-quarter economic slowdown. Businesses’ payrolls increased in November by 67,000 — the second-lowest total since 2010 — after a downwardly revised 121,000 gain in October, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday.

Carl Icahn is urging HP to push ahead with takeover talks with Xerox Holdings, arguing the hardware maker’s stand-alone plans amount “to little more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” A tie-up between the companies could yield more than $2 billion in synergies, the billionaire investor said in a letter addressed to HP shareholders Wednesday. HP last month rejected an unsolicited, cash-and-stock offer from Xerox worth $22 per share, or about $33 billion. Xerox plans to go to HP shareholders to present its case for a deal. Icahn owns stakes in both companies.

— From news services