Consumer Goods

  • Recalls This Week: Bed handles, roasting pans Associated Press - Sat, Sep 19, 2015 4:19 AM AEST

    More than 100,000 bed handles intended to assist older or disabled adults are being recalled after they were linked to three deaths due to a potential strangulation hazard. Other recalled consumer products ...

  • Apple explores rules of the road for self-driving cars AFP - Fri, Sep 18, 2015 9:07 PM AEST
    Apple explores rules of the road for self-driving cars

    The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Friday said that it met with Apple to discuss rules of the road regarding testing self-driving cars. "The Apple meeting was to review DMV's autonomous vehicle regulations," a department spokesperson told AFP in an email response to an inquiry. Apple has not commented on rumors that it is working on a self-driving car, and the California-based technology colossus did not respond to an AFP request to contribute to this story.

  • US accuses Volkswagen of 'cheating' on pollution controls AFP - Fri, Sep 18, 2015 8:10 PM AEST
    US accuses Volkswagen of 'cheating' on pollution controls

    US regulators charged Volkswagen on Friday with manufacturing vehicles designed to evade government pollution controls and said the German auto giant should urgently fix nearly 500,000 cars. Volkswagen could face an $18 billion penalty over the software made to meet clean-air standards during official emissions testing but which would intentionally turn off during normal operations, US and California regulators said. "Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean-air standards is illegal and a threat to public health," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency.

  • US orders Volkswagen to recall 500,000 cars AFP - Fri, Sep 18, 2015 4:39 PM AEST
    US orders Volkswagen to recall 500,000 cars

    US regulators charged Volkswagen Friday with manufacturing autos designed to evade pollution controls and ordered the German auto giant to recall nearly 500,000 cars. Volkswagen designed software to meet ...

  • Toyota recalls 400K RAV4s due to faulty windshield wipers Associated Press - Fri, Sep 18, 2015 2:54 AM AEST

    Toyota is recalling about 421,000 RAV4 vehicles because of potential corrosion in their windshield wipers could make them inoperable. The vehicles include model years ranging from 2009 to 2012 and about ...

  • Annual Japan video game show opens with record exhibitors Associated Press - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 6:41 PM AEST

    Japan's annual video game show opened Thursday with a record number of exhibitors, including independent companies and newcomers, a positive sign for an industry that has faced tough competition from games ...

  • US milk industry fights back AAP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 2:00 PM AEST

    America's milk industry is fed up with all the sourness over dairy. As Americans continue turning away from milk, an industry group has been pushing back at its critics with a social media campaign trumpeting the benefits of milk. Julia Kadison, of Milk Processor Education Program, which represents milk companies, said the breaking point came last year when the British Medical Journal published a study suggesting drinking lots of milk could lead to earlier death and a higher incident of fractures.

  • New York smoking rate goes back down after startling rise Associated Press - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 12:53 PM AEST

    The ranks of smokers are dwindling after a surprising uptick in a city known for tough steps to discourage tobacco use, health officials said Wednesday. A 2014 Department of Health survey showed fewer ...

  • Oroton profit slumps 68% AAP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 11:08 AM AEST

    Luxury handbag and accessories retailer Oroton has suffered a huge hit to its full year profit as it transitions away from heavy discounting and expands the GAP clothing brand. Oroton's profit for the 12 months to July 25 tumbled 68 per cent to $2.6 million, from $8.3 million a year earlier. Chief executive Mark Newman says the drop in earnings was partly due to the retailer reining in heavy discounts on its Oroton range.

  • Hyundai chief cautious on prospects for self-driving cars AFP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 10:57 AM AEST
    Hyundai chief cautious on prospects for self-driving cars

    The self-driving car is coming, but not as rapidly as people think, the head of the European operations of South Korean carmaker Hyundai, Thomas Schmid, told AFP on Wednesday. "My personal belief is that autonomous driving might come, but by far not as quick as everyone says in 10 or 15 years," Schmid said in an interview on the sidelines of the IAA motor show. Alongside the connected car, autonomous driving is one of the new buzzwords in the automobile sector.

  • Agriculture secretary announces goal for cutting food waste Associated Press - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 6:59 AM AEST

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a goal Wednesday to cut the amount of food that Americans waste by 50 percent by 2030. "The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply ...

  • Hopes for shopping revolution as malls sprout in Iran AFP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 5:37 AM AEST
    Hopes for shopping revolution as malls sprout in Iran

    The traditional bazaar has long been the place to shop in Iran but despite years of sanctions a new generation has discovered a vastly different consumer experience: blatant, unapologetic Western-style consumerism. Developers have broken ground on an estimated 400 modern shopping malls across Iran in recent years -- 65 of them in Tehran alone. Experts say the expected lifting of sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear programme will open the door to a potential retail bonanza, especially for imported Western goods.

  • Tech disruption hangs over automakers at Frankfurt show Associated Press - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 2:12 AM AEST
    Tech disruption hangs over automakers at Frankfurt show

    A sense of impending disruption hangs over all the shiny new cars at this year's edition of the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The potential impact of automated driving and of extensively connected ...

  • Recaro recalls child car seats; top tether can come loose Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 11:08 PM AEST

    Recaro Child Safety is recalling more than 173,000 car seats in the U.S. because the top tether can detach from the seat in a crash. The recall affects ProRide and Performance Ride seats made before June ...

  • Auto industry shows off car cockpit of future at IAA AFP - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 5:26 PM AEST
    Auto industry shows off car cockpit of future at IAA

    The futuristic seat designed by French parts supplier Faurecia is among car cockpit innovations that are being unveiled at the IAA car show, with the promise to transform vehicles into a cross between a mobile sitting room, connected office and a space for relaxing in. With their futuristic designs, state-of-the-art materials and intelligent dashboards, a number of new concept cars are the stars of this year's IAA, which opened to the world press on Tuesday and is scheduled to welcome the general public from Saturday. Completely driverless cars may still be some way off, but "autonomous driving is arriving at full speed," said Han Hendriks, vice-president of sales and product development at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.

  • FDA halts sales of 4 R.J. Reynolds cigarette brands Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 8:57 AM AEST
    FDA halts sales of 4 R.J. Reynolds cigarette brands

    The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday banned sales of four cigarette brands from R.J. Reynolds because they did not meet the agency's safety review requirements. Under FDA rules, companies that launch ...

  • United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler reach tentative contract deal. Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 8:48 AM AEST

    United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler reach tentative contract deal.

  • Carlsberg recalls Staropramen beer after tainted kegs found Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 5:40 AM AEST

    Danish brewer Carlsberg says it's recalling more than 4,600 kegs of Staropramen beer in Sweden after identifying two cases where the kegs were filled with cleaning solution, injuring two people. Carlsberg ...

  • Wine and tapas? Taco Bell to serve them in Chicago Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 4:34 AM AEST
    Wine and tapas? Taco Bell to serve them in Chicago

    What kind of wine pairs best with a Chalupa? Taco Bell customers in Chicago and San Francisco will soon be able to find out. The chain says it will open a location that serves wine, beer, sangria and frozen ...

  • Carlsberg recalls Staropramen beer after chemical found Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 3:25 AM AEST

    Danish brewer Carlsberg says it's recalling more than 4,600 kegs of Staropramen beer in Sweden after identifying two cases where the kegs were filled with cleaning solution, injuring two people. Carlsberg ...

  • Mayor: Toronto not bidding for 2024 Olympics Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 2:33 AM AEST
    Mayor: Toronto not bidding for 2024 Olympics

    Mayor John Tory said Toronto will be a great venue for the Olympics one day. Just not in 2024. Tory said Tuesday that Canada's largest city is going to stay out of the race for the 2024 Olympics because ...

  • Europe's mass market cars get spruced up for competition Associated Press - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 1:12 AM AEST
    Europe's mass market cars get spruced up for competition

    Automakers jostling in Europe's fiercely competitive market for basic transportation are sprucing up their new models with safety and entertainment technology that used to be found on more expensive cars. ...

  • Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca dies at 67 AFP - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 8:50 PM AEST
    Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca dies at 67

    Fred DeLuca, who parlayed a $1,000 loan from a friend into the global Subway sandwich chain, has died at 67 of leukemia, the company announced Tuesday. DeLuca had been treated for the disease since 2013 and had named his sister, Suzanne Greco, as president to run day-to-day operations. The pace of growth accelerated considerably after 1974, when DeLuca and Buck sold the right to use the Subway brand to franchisees in return for marketing and other support.

  • Kellogg ties up with Singapore's Tolaram in West Africa AFP - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 6:29 PM AEST
    Kellogg ties up with Singapore's Tolaram in West Africa

    US breakfast cereal producer Kellogg said Tuesday it was investing $450 million to build sales of its popular brands in the rapidly growing West Africa market. Kellogg announced it was joining hands with Tolaram Africa, the Nigeria-based unit of Singapore's Tolaram group, taking a 50 percent share in its distribution arm Multipro, to open markets for its cereals, snacks and other foods. Tolaram already holds a strong position in Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of the region through its production and distribution of Indomie instant noodles, a popular breakfast item, cooking oil and pasta brands.

  • US regulators bar sales of four kinds of cigarettes AFP - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 6:10 PM AEST
    US regulators bar sales of four kinds of cigarettes

    US regulators on Tuesday ordered tobacco giant RJ Reynolds to stop selling and distributing four kinds of cigarettes because they are too different from previously approved cigarettes. The four products are Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. "The company's submissions for these products did not meet requirements" that the products be "substantially equivalent" to products already on the market as of February 15, 2007, the FDA said.

  • FCA recalling 27,520 Dodge Darts for safety issue Associated Press - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 12:18 PM AEST

    Fiat Chrysler is recalling 27,520 Dodge Darts worldwide because the small cars' transmissions can unexpectedly shift into neutral. The recall affects Dodge Darts from the 2013-2015 model years with dual ...

  • New regulations on sale of e-cigarettes set to take effect Associated Press - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 5:16 AM AEST

    Anyone under 18 years old will be barred from buying electronic cigarettes in Massachusetts and the liquid and gels used in the devices will have to be sold in child-resistant packaging under new regulations ...

  • Google names auto veteran to lead self-driving car push Associated Press - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 2:12 AM AEST
    Google names auto veteran to lead self-driving car push

    Google has hired auto industry veteran and former Hyundai U.S. CEO John Krafcik to run its self-driving car program. Krafcik, 53, is credited with turning around Hyundai's U.S. operations, leading the ...

  • M Night Shyamalan scares up profit with 'The Visit' CNBC - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 1:23 AM AEST
    M Night Shyamalan scares up profit with 'The Visit'

    M. Night Shyamalan is the latest director to partner with producer Jason Blum, who makes micro-budget horror films that turn fantastic profits.

  • In corn-growing states, tall crops pose seasonal road hazard Associated Press - Mon, Sep 14, 2015 10:46 PM AEST
    In corn-growing states, tall crops pose seasonal road hazard

    The broad leaves and thick stalks can stand up to 12 feet high, forming a wall of foliage that turns rural roads into long, narrow corridors of nothing but corn. For drivers navigating the gravel roads ...

  • Auto industry veteran hired to rev up Google car AFP - Mon, Sep 14, 2015 8:51 PM AEST
    Auto industry veteran hired to rev up Google car

    Google announced Monday it hired auto industry veteran John Krafcik to head up its self-driving car project, as it eyes expanded road tests for autonomous vehicles. "This technology can save thousands of lives, give millions of people greater mobility and free us from a lot of the things we find frustrating about driving today," he said. Krafcik previously spent 10 years at Hyundai Motor America, including five as president and chief executive of the US arm of the South Korean auto giant.

  • Indonesia seizes Uber cars in new setback AFP - Mon, Sep 14, 2015 5:36 PM AEST
    Indonesia seizes Uber cars in new setback

    Thirty Uber cars have been seized in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in recent months, a transport official said Monday, prompting the controversial ride-hailing app to accuse authorities of "unreasonable intimidation". The news came after the city of Bandung, on the main island of Java, last week banned Uber, and as the Silicon Valley company faces challenges worldwide from regulators concerned about its business model and from traditional taxi drivers angered at what they see as a threat. Uber, an app that allows customers to hail private rides via their phones, has proved popular in Jakarta, a metropolis plagued by monster traffic jams but with scant public transport.

  • Snow the secret ingredient for making wine in Finland AFP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 5:53 PM AEST
    Snow the secret ingredient for making wine in Finland

    Snow, preferably a thick layer of it, is the recipe for successful winegrowing in western Finland, at what is believed to be the world?s northernmost winery. Thanks to an insulating layer of snow, winter temperatures as low as -36 degrees Celsius (-33 degrees Fahrenheit) have not managed to freeze the Riesling, Merlot and Chardonnay vines of Finnish wine pioneer Kaarlo Nelimarkka, 74. On the contrary, Nelimarkka is more concerned about the sun's rays than the winter frost piercing his Sundom winery in the town of Vaasa, just 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.

  • 'Made in Iran' cars face boycott campaign at home AFP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 4:41 PM AEST
    'Made in Iran' cars face boycott campaign at home

    A campaign to boycott "substandard and expensive" Iranian-made cars has fired up social media in the Islamic republic, where its supporters have been accused of anti-revolutionary treason. Iranians are turning to the Internet to vent long-simmering dissatisfaction with a domestic car industry dominated by producers Iran Khodro and Saipa, following years of sanctions that led to the exit of foreign makers. Iran's automakers "have put profit before their conscience", wrote Vali, a user of the messaging service Telegram.

  • Wraps come off new Holden Commodore AAP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 3:31 AM AEST

    The end of an era draws near as Holden prepares to unveil the last Commodore to be built in Australia. The VF II Commodore will be unveiled at Holden's Port Melbourne plant on Sunday, a day after the company revealed it will retain more than 100 design jobs that had been destined for overseas. General Motors has decided to keep its powertrain engineering and development team in Australia.