Toyota dealers not given pedal fix
DETROIT — Toyota is sending new gas pedal systems to its factories rather than its dealership service departments, The Associated Press learned yesterday. The move angered some dealers, who say they should get the parts to take care of millions of car owners whose accelerators may stick.
Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons confirmed the information in a company e-mail obtained by the AP that says parts were shipped to the automaker's plants.
He said the company has not sent parts to its dealers because it has yet to determine whether it will repair — or replace altogether — the gas pedals on the 4.2 million Toyotas that have been recalled worldwide.
SOME STATES TOP 20% IN UNDEREMPLOYED
WASHINGTON — President Obama said in his State of the Union address Wednesday that "one in 10 Americans still cannot find work." But in nine states the figure is closer to one in five, according to Labor Department data released yesterday.
The figures are a stark illustration of how tough it is to find a full-time job, even as the economy has grown for two straight quarters. The official unemployment rate of 10 percent doesn't include people who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work, or the unemployed who have given up looking for work.
When those groups are included, the devastation in many parts of the country is clear: Michigan's so-called "underemployment" rate was 21.5 percent in 2009. California's was 21.1 percent, and Oregon's 20.7 percent.
U.S. APPETITE FOR GASOLINE WEAKENING
NEW YORK — For the past several months, oil prices have soared on the expectation that China will soon lead a new race for natural resources.
But government data released so far this year has told a different story, and oil has tumbled nearly $10 a barrel in the first month of 2010.
Americans are burning less gasoline than they did a year ago, according to a report this week from the Energy Information Administration. The EIA says the country's appetite for petroleum products has dropped every week this month.
And while China is expected to expand petroleum consumption this year, a decision to rein in risky bank loans and cool down its economy may curb China's energy appetite.
AMERICAN EXPRESS CEO GETS 60% RAISE
DES MOINES, Iowa — The CEO of American Express Co. is getting a 60 percent raise in his base salary.
Kenneth Chenault's base salary will be $2 million this year, according to documents filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2009, he received $1.25 million.