Shoppers browse a John Lewis department store in London on Monday. U.K. retail sales rose more than economists forecast in November as Black Friday discounts boosted department stores. (Jason Alden/Bloomberg)
AUTO INDUSTRY
NHTSA fines BMW
for safety violations

U.S. safety regulators have slapped German automaker BMW with a $40 million penalty for moving too slowly to fix Mini brand cars that failed federal crash tests.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said Monday that BMW failed to send the agency accurate recall information.

According to a consent order signed by the company, BMW must pay $10 million in cash and spend $10 million on steps to get into compliance. Another $20 million in fines must be paid if BMW doesn’t comply or commits other safety violations.

BMW agreed to take steps to make sure that the violations don’t happen again, the agency said in a statement.

The order resolves an investigation that began in September into whether BMW notified the NHTSA within the legally required five days of finding out that 2014 and 2015 Mini Cooper models failed to meet side-impact crash standards.

According to NHTSA, a Mini two-door Hardtop Cooper failed an agency crash test in October 2014, and BMW responded by saying that the car was listed with an incorrect weight rating and would pass at the proper weight. BMW agreed to a recall to fix the weight rating label and to do a service campaign to add side-impact protection.

But in July, NHTSA did a second crash test at the corrected weight rating, and the Mini failed again. Then the agency found out that BMW never did the service campaign to bolster side-impact protection.

— Associated Press

BANKING
JPMorgan agrees
to pay $150 million

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $150 million to public pension funds and individuals hurt by its $6 billion “London Whale” trading loss, Ohio’s attorney general announced Monday.

The settlement deal comes in a 2012 class-action lawsuit that alleged JPMorgan Chase issued false and misleading statements regarding its trading activity, describing risky and speculative trading strategies as mere “hedges” or “risk management” devices.

Subsequent London Whale losses caused the bank’s stock value to plummet. The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System lost $2.5 million. It joined similar funds in Oregon and Arkansas and Swedish pension fund AP7 as lead plaintiffs. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Misleading investors with wrong or incomplete information is unacceptable and causes real damage,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in announcing the agreement.

A message seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned.

Besides pension funds, thousands of individuals who bought JPMorgan stock between April 13, 2012, and May 21, 2012, are covered under the settlement.

— Associated Press

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