12 million vehicles recalled for air bags

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.

— Reuters

Hiring, incomes boost consumer sentiment

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

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— From news services