Morning Money Memo…
The world’s biggest auto company has announced one of the most sweeping series of recalls in recent years. Toyota is pulling back 6.39 million vehicles worldwide for problems with nearly 30 models. Some were recalled for more than one flaw.
Toyota’s share price dropped 5 percent today in Tokyo.
No injuries or crashes have been reported, but two fires are said to have been related to a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running. Toyota says it also needs to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned, causing the air bag to fail to activate in the event of a crash.
GM’s Daily Fine
Federal safety investigators are fining General Motors $7,000 per day for failing to respond to more than one-third of their requests for information about a faulty ignition switch by an April 3 deadline. The defective switch has been linked to 13 deaths and finally prompted the recall of 2.6 million small cars. GM says it’s fully cooperating with the investigation.
‘Heartbleed Bug’ Prompts Web Security Fears
If you go online, your passwords may be at risk from a flaw that’s supposed to protect your personal information. Thousands of websites used by tens of millions of people are scrambling to come up with a fix. The problem is with encryption technology used to securely transmit email, e-commerce transactions, social networking posts and other Web traffic. A fix is available, but websites and service providers must install the update. Tumblr was the first big website to announce it had been hit by the “Heartbleed Bug.” The site urged users to change their passwords – not just for Tumblr, but for other sites, as well.
Girls, ‘This Is Your Brain on Engineering’
What does a popular girl’s toy have to do with the growth of engineering jobs? Plenty, argues Goldieblox. Its new ad campaign, launched with an Easter egg theme, promotes building toys and engineering. “This is Your Brain on Engineering,” is a tongue-in-cheek video that aims to show the dangers of limiting girls’ play to “princess” toys, and urges kids to be exposed to engineering and science. Since last year, GoldieBlox has raised more than $285,000 on Kickstarter, “pre-sold more than a million dollars’ worth of products, and parlayed that groundswell of support into winning a contest for a Super Bowl commercial slot,” says wired.com.
Personal Finance Stress
A new survey finds that 4 out of 10 adults say their stress about personal finance matters is somewhat or very high. Kelley Long of the American Institute of CPAs’ financial literacy panel says one way to cut stress is to reduce spending on stuff you don’t really need.
“Take a look at those little extra expenses for subscriptions that you might not be using this summer, or maybe think about bundling or looking for promotions from your service providers,” Long says.
One example is canceling premium TV channels or asking a cable TV and Internet provider for discounts.
“All the money that you saved if you’re strategic about it you can use to pay off your winter bills or put towards that summer vacation,” Long adds.