Eight automakers said on Friday they are recalling more than 12 million U.S. vehicles for defective Takata air-bag inflators, widening the largest-ever auto-safety effort to more passenger-side devices.
Honda is recalling 4.5 million U.S. vehicles, while Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.3 million, according to the documents. The new recall is focused on passenger-side air-bag inflators, while prior recalls were for all frontal inflators.
Takata declared 14 million inflators defective in the first phase of its latest recall, and the Friday notice is largely included in that total.
Separately, Takata is in bailout talks with a number of potential investors, including private-equity firm KKR & Co., a source told Reuters on Thursday.
Toyota told regulators it is recalling 1.65 million vehicles, while Subaru is recalling nearly 400,000 vehicles in the United States.
The two automakers said they include some discontinued Saab and Pontiac vehicles assembled for General Motors.
Fiat Chrysler said Friday it is also recalling 933,000 vehicles sold outside the United States for Takata inflators.
Mazda is recalling 730,000 U.S. vehicles, while Nissan is recalling 400,000.
Mitsubishi is recalling 38,000 vehicles, and Ferrari is calling back 2,800 U.S. sports cars.
Americans turned more optimistic about the economy in May than the previous month, buoyed by steady hiring and higher incomes.
The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 94.7 in May, the highest in nearly a year. That’s up from 89 in April.
The increase could drive greater economic growth, as a more optimistic consumer is typically more likely to spend. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. The economy slowed to a crawl in the first three months of this year, growing just 0.8 percent at an annual rate. Yet most analysts expect growth to rebound in the April-to-June quarter.
Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, said that the sentiment index has been higher than last month’s reading only four times in the last 110 surveys.
Americans are also feeling better about their finances. More consumers cited income gains than at any time since late 2000, Curtin said, and fewer people complained about price increases than at any time since 2003. That means inflation is less of a concern.
Still, the survey detected some notes of caution, stemming from the presidential election. The economic policies of the next president were cited by consumers as their biggest uncertainty.
— Associated Press
● Shareholders in Chicago-area drug company Baxalta and Irish firm Shire voted Friday to approve the $32 billion merger of the two firms. The combined company, which will be run from Shire’s Dublin headquarters, aims to be a world leader in treating hemophilia and other rare diseases, and will benefit from Ireland’s lower corporate tax rate. The deal is expected to close June 3, the firms said.
● Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance gained as much as 11 percent after boosting its annual forecast, helped by surging demand for beauty products. The Bolingbrook, Ill.-based company now expects earnings to grow by a percentage rate in the low-20s, above its previous forecast for 18 percent to 20 percent. Comparable sales are expected to increase by as much as 12 percent, compared with an earlier target of no more than 10 percent. The company, which runs a chain of beauty shops, upped its guidance after seeing its best same-store sales gains last quarter since going public in 2007.
— From news services