U.S. lawmakers seek independent review of auto regulator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday called for an independent review of the leading auto safety regulator and a report on whether it can do more to manage product recalls and detect deadly flaws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the main watchdog for car design dangers, has come under scrutiny over its handling of recent alerts like air bags that can deploy with deadly force. “To what extent has NHTSA successfully adapted to new developments in automotive technology?” reads the request to the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress. …

Ally Financial profit jumps on fewer expected loan losses

Ally Financial sign is seen on a building in Charlotte, North CarolinaBy Peter Rudegeair NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ally Financial Inc , the second largest U.S. auto lender, posted a third-quarter profit on Wednesday as it set aside less money to cover future car loan defaults. The bank believes its loan losses will be lower in the future because U.S. unemployment has been falling fast, and Ally has in recent months attracted a greater number of borrowers with higher credit scores, finance chief Chris Halmy said on a conference call. …


Obama administration eyes leadership change at auto safety agency: source

Acting NHTSA administrator David Friedman explains that General Motors will agree to a record fine of $35 million in civil penalties in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The acting chief of the NHTSA, the top U.S. automotive safety regulator, is unlikely to be nominated for the job and an active search is under way to fill the position, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday. After a series of perceived failures at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, David Friedman, who has served this year as acting head of the agency, is not expected to be tapped by the Obama administration for the job, the source said. …


4 more workers allege racial bias at Daimler plant

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon expanded its investigation into discrimination at the Portland truck-making plant of German automotive giant Daimler AG after four more employees came forward with allegations of racial harassment.

Texas Instruments posts solid 3rd-quarter results, says business healthy

By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Texas Instruments Inc posted third-quarter results above expectations and its CFO said business was healthy, in contrast to recent concerns on Wall Street about a possible slowdown in chip demand. The Dallas, Texas-based company’s growth in the third quarter was driven by demand for chips used in communications equipment, industrial markets and automotive, CFO Kevin March told Reuters in a phone interview. …

Riddle of inventory levels keeps platinum investors shy

Platinum bars are stacked at the safe deposit boxes room of the ProAurum gold house in MunichBy Clara Denina and Jan Harvey LONDON (Reuters) – Investors are unlikely to rush back into platinum any time soon after a minimal price reaction to its biggest-ever supply shock highlighted a major problem: no-one knows how much metal exists above ground or more importantly who holds it. Analysts predicted a surging market as a record five-month labour stoppage in top producer South Africa wiped out more than one million ounces of output worth $1.28 billion. Yet platinum, used mostly in automotive catalytic converters which clean up exhaust emissions, also failed to react to a 2. …


U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm hopes for knock-out blow with $2.5 billion CSR bid

A logo of U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm is seen on the windshield of a car in BeijingBy Paul Sandle and Eric Auchard LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – U.S. Qualcomm Inc agreed to buy CSR Plc for $2.5 billion, offering what it hopes is a knock-out blow to win the British Bluetooth specialist which is growing in areas like automotive and wearable devices. Qualcomm, the world's number one mobile chipmaker, has agreed to pay 900 pence a share in cash for CSR, a 56.5 percent premium on the share price before the start of the offer period in August, CSR said on Wednesday. At that time, the British company rebuffed an approach from U.S. …