Toyota: Recalls keep rolling
Toyota announced on Nov. 14 that it will recall 2.77 million vehicles after finding defects in steering and water-pump systems. The latest recall covers 14 models, including the Prius and Corolla, and is the second in two months for Asia’s largest automaker. Last month, Toyota recalled 7.43 million vehicles over a possible flaw that could lead the power-window switch to melt or catch fire. In 2009 and 2010 the company called back more than 10 million cars for problems with unintended acceleration. The Japanese company says the latest defects may cause “a reduction in steering response” though it hasn’t received any reports of crashes resulting from them.
Google: Governments seek to censor
In its latest Transparency Report, Google said government requests to remove content from its search results rose 71 percent in the first half of 2012 as political leaders become more aggressive in their attempts to control information on the Web. The world’s largest search engine said that there were 1,791 requests through June of this year, up from 1,048 during the second half of 2011. Turkey leads the list, with 501 requests, followed by the U.S. and Germany. Google says it complied with 52 percent of all requests.
Macy’s: A campaign to send Trump packing
More than 500,000 people have added their names to a petition on SignOn.org urging Macy’s to end its partnership with real estate mogul Donald Trump. The campaign’s organizers call Trump’s online attacks on President Barack Obama “abominable.” Via Twitter, Trump, who partners with Macy’s to sell apparel, accessories, and cologne, called Obama’s reelection a “travesty” and a “disgusting injustice.” Macy’s says the developer’s opinions are “not related” to the merchandise.
J.C. Penney: Sales and stock falling
Shares in J.C. Penney tumbled to their lowest price since 2009 on Nov. 12 as sales continued to crater. The department-store chain reported a 27 percent decline in sales for the third quarter, the third consecutive drop of more than 20 percent. The decline was greater than analysts expected. Under CEO Ron Johnson, who took over at J.C. Penney a year ago after a decade at Apple, the clothing chain has lost customers as it redesigns stores and implements an everyday low-pricing plan in place of coupons.
Eastman Kodak: Charting a path out of bankruptcy
Eastman Kodak said it has arranged for $793 million in financing from firms including Centerbridge Capital Partners, UBS, and JPMorgan Chase in order to exit bankruptcy. The funding requires court approval and is conditional on Kodak selling its patent portfolio for no less than $500 million. The company plans to get rid of its consumer film and photo-kiosk units, resolve pension obligations in the U.K., and emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2013 as a commercial printing company.