Airbag Recall Expands, But Do Consumers Care?

Jun 24, 2014 8:28am

Morning Money Memo…

GTY inflated airbag kab 140624 16x9 608 Airbag Recall Expands, But Do Consumers Care?

Patti McConville/Getty Images

Another massive recall involves millions of cars from seven major auto makers. The vehicles are equipped with air bags that could explode under certain circumstances.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government’s auto safety agency, says BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota will recall cars sold in places where hot, humid weather can potentially affect the air bags.

The older-model cars have air bag inflators that can rupture. If that happens, the air bags might not work properly in a crash, and shards from the broken system could fly out and cause injury.

The automakers all have air bag systems made by Takata Corp., a Tokyo-based supplier of seat belts, air bags, steering wheels and other auto parts. Takata’s air bags have been the subject of multiple recalls in recent months. In April 2013, Toyota, Honda and Nissan recalled nearly 3.4 million older-model vehicles worldwide due to a problem with the propellant in the air bags that could lead to fires.

Consumers may be suffering from recall fatigue. “I think it’s something the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is concerned about, something the manufacturers are concerned about. People are just kind of tuning out on this,” says Jack Nerad of Kelly Blue Book. “A rather small percentage of recalled cars are actually getting taken in to be fixed and that’s a concern.”

Monkey Parking

Imagine being able to buy a public parking spot from somebody who’s already parked in it. A new app called Monkey Parking allows people to auction off public parking spaces they’re using to nearby drivers. If you have a spot, you could make some money by selling it.

But San Francisco’s City Attorney has issued a cease-and-desist demand to the company that owns Monkey Parking. Apple is being asked to immediately remove the parking app from its app store. San Francisco’s police code prohibits people from buying, selling, or leasing public on street parking.

Extreme Weather

A climate change report says extreme weather is likely to impose enormous costs on U.S. regional economies in the coming decades.

Lost and damaged property, reduced industrial output and more deaths are among expected results, says the Risky Business Project. The group is led by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Thomas Steyer, a former hedge fund manager.

The report is designed to convince businesses to factor in the cost of climate change in their long-term decisions and to push for cutting emissions that are heating the planet.

A Larger iPhone

A brand new larger iPhone could be on store shelves this fall. Apple will reportedly start production on the new phones next month in China, which are rumored to have a larger five-inch screen. Samsung and HTC have already upped the size of their smartphone screens, with models that have screens as big as five-point-seven inches.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow

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