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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, June 13, 2019 1:00 am

Briefs

Explorer, F-150 covered in Ford's 1.3 million recall

News services

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford is recalling more than 1.3 million vehicles mainly in North America to fix rear suspension and transmission control software problems.

The largest recall covers over 1.2 million Explorer SUVs from 2011 through 2017.

Ford says a rear suspension toe link can break if the suspension moves a lot. That can limit steering control.

One customer reported running into a curb when a link broke, but Ford says it's not aware of any injuries.

Dealers will replace the left and right toe links, which keep weight on the tires.

The Explorer recall will cost Ford an estimated $180 million that will show up in the company's second-quarter results, Ford said in a filing with U.S. securities regulators.

Ford also is recalling 123,000 2013 F-150 pickups for a second time to stop transmissions from unintentionally downshifting into first gear.

The recall covers pickups with 5-liter and 6.2-liter gas engines. A previous software update didn't work.

Consumer prices tick up in May

U.S. consumer prices increased a slight 0.1% in May, as inflation was tempered by lower costs for gasoline, electricity and used cars.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the consumer price index rose 1.8% during the past year. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.1% in May and 2% from a year ago.

Inflation has been consistently muted, slightly below or near the Federal Reserve's target of 2% even though the economy is poised in July to set the record for the longest expansion in U.S. history.

VW buys battery-cell maker

Volkswagen says it is taking a stake in Swedish battery cell producer Northvolt AB and plans a joint factory in Germany ahead of increased production of electric vehicles next year.

Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen said Wednesday that it would invest around $1 billion in joint battery activities with Northvolt that include acquiring an initial 20% in Northvolt.

Volkswagen plans to step up production and sales of E-cars next year with its forthcoming ID. 3 compact.

Volkswagen said it has planned a 50-50 joint venture to build a battery-cell factory in Salzgitter in its home region of Lower Saxony, whose government is a stakeholder in Volkswagen.

Plant construction would start in 2020 at the earliest, and production for VW would commence at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

Fake video made of Zuckerberg

Three weeks after Facebook refused to remove a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurring her words, Mark Zuckerberg is getting a taste of his own medicine: fake footage showing him gloating over his one-man domination of the world.

It's the latest flap over deviously altered “deepfake” videos as Facebook and other social media services struggle to stop the spread of misinformation and “fake news” while also respecting free speech and fending off allegations of censorship.

The somewhat crude video of the Facebook CEO, circulating on Facebook-owned Instagram over the past few days, combines news footage of Zuckerberg with phony audio.

But Facebook said the Zuckerberg video doesn't violate its Instagram policies and will be left up.