The criminal investigation that opened yesterday into General Motors Co.’s handling of an ignition flaw linked to 12 deaths adds to legal challenges that threaten to overshadow the company’s turnaround.
Kao Corp., Japan’s biggest maker of toiletries, said it would lose 6 billion yen ($61 million) of operating profit this fiscal year after it recalled whitening products that caused skin blotches to more than 2,000 customers.
Danone, the world’s biggest yogurt maker, canceled its supply contract with New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. and said it’s seeking compensation for last year’s product recall over a contamination scare.
Product recall notices are a fact of life for consumer-product makers. Dysfunctional hinges trap tiny fingers; undesirable fluids leak into foodstuffs; and sticky accelerator pedals send cars zooming in mysterious ways, forcing manufacturers into costly withdrawals.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry has outrun a recession, recalls and natural disasters to stay America’s best-selling car for more than a decade. Odds are worsening that it can keep the title next year as challengers gear up for another run at topping the mild-mannered sedan.
New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, will appoint a food safety director and strengthen product recall systems after a contamination scare dented the company’s reputation in China.