Jury finds Toyota not liable
A jury on Thursday found that Toyota Motor Corp is not liable for the death of a California woman who was killed when her 2006 Camry apparently accelerated and crashed, despite her efforts to stop. Jurors deliberated for about five days before reaching their decision and concluding the vehicle’s design did not contribute to the death of 66-year-old Noriko Uno, who was killed in August 2009 when she was struck by another motorist, sending her vehicle into a telephone pole and tree. Uno’s family was seeking US$20 million in damages, claiming that the crash could have been avoided if Toyota had installed a brake override system. The jury found the motorist, now 90 years old, who ran a stop sign and hit Uno should pay the family US$10 million, plaintiffs’ attorney Garo Mardirossian said. Toyota blamed driver error for the crash.
Chinese auto sales up
China’s passenger-vehicle sales rose 21 percent last month as Japanese automakers rebounded from the consumer backlash sparked by a territorial dispute last year. Wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sports-utility vehicles climbed to 1.59 million last month, the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday. Total sales of vehicles, including buses and trucks, gained 20 percent to 1.94 million last month, the association said. In the first nine months of the year, 15.9 million vehicles were delivered, putting sales on track to reach 20 million for the full year estimated by the association.
Google defends in Europe
Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, says he respects, but disagrees with complaints about his company’s privacy policies made by data protection authorities in six European countries. Schmidt said the Internet search and ad giant has “very broadly communicated” its policies to authorities in the countries where the complaints have been made. Data watchdogs in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands have said Google needs to provide additional guarantees to comply with national protection rules in each of those countries.
Gold to fund world’s poorest
The IMF announced on Thursday it has harnessed windfall gold profits from member countries to fund loans to the world’s poorest countries in the coming years. The IMF said that 151 of its 188 member countries had pledged more than 90 percent of the roughly US$2.7 billion in windfall profits remaining from a gold sale to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust. The IMF had sought to use members resources linked to the gold sales to partially fund the trust, which now has funding to support more than US$3.4 billion in concessional lending, allowing it to lend almost US$2 billion annually.
Hyundai to build Petronas ships
South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries said yesterday it has secured a US$850 million order to build four LNG carriers for Malaysian oil company Petronas. The world’s largest shipbuilder said it would deliver the double-hulled LNG tankers from the second half of 2016. The contract includes an option to order four additional LNG carriers, it said. Hyundai said its total orders, including the deal with Petronas, have reached US$20.7 billion so far this year, or 87 percent of its annual target of US$23.8 billion.