The safety crisis at General Motors is growing. America’s largest automaker has announced its 44th recall this year, doubling the size of an earlier recall for cars with ignition switch problems. About 3.4 million vehicles are involved this time. The latest flaw is similar to one that led to an earlier big recall of small cars and is linked to 13 deaths. GM will revise or replace the key to fix the new problem, which also involves ignition switches slipping out of the “run” position.
More than four months after GM recalled 2.6 million small cars to fix ignition switch problems, the company has repaired only 7 percent of them. The firm says repairs have been delayed as switch maker Delphi starts making the part for cars that are no longer being produced. GM spokesman Kevin Kelly says at first Delphi had only one assembly line building replacement switches, which slowed parts distribution. Kelly says the company now has two lines and a third will be running in late July or early August. GM says it expects to have 2.6 million switches made by late October.
Hate those annoying automated telemarketing calls? Help is on the way. The Federal Trade Commission says it’s enlisting hackers to help track and trap illegal phone spammers. The agency says it’ll go to DEF CON 22, one of the world’s oldest and largest hacker conferences, with a challenge called “Zapping Rachel.” It asks spammers to build the ultimate “honeypot”: a system to lure and identify illegal robocallers. “Zapping Rachel” will consist of three standalone contests hosted at the conference in August. The goal is to find new technologies that can help experts and law enforcement understand and combat illegal calls, and help consumers block those calls. Officials from The National Security Agency have attended previous DEF CON conferences, recruiting hackers for cyberespionage work.
Microsoft and four other large U.S. technology companies are using a New York court case to try to stop the U.S. government from accessing data stored outside the United States. The companies say a magistrate judge erred in April when he ruled that the government can access email files Microsoft stores in Dublin, Ireland. The Manhattan jurist said a warrant he signed in December was not actually being carried out in Ireland because the data would be opened in the United States. But Microsoft, Verizon, Apple, Cisco and AT&T say the ruling increases doubts by foreign governments and others that data they entrust to U.S. companies is kept confidential. The companies are asking a district court judge to reverse the magistrate judge’s ruling. A hearing is scheduled for late July.
Defiance from Argentina’s government: President Cristina Fernandez says Argentina won’t submit to what she calls extortion or allow its economy to be ruined. Her statement came after Argentina lost an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on defaulted debt. Fernandez says her government is willing to negotiate but won’t pay cash to the winners of the legal battle even if refusing to comply with the court rulings closes the doors of the U.S. financial system to Argentina. The statement raises questions about the possibility of another default.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow