Ford Motor Co. said it will shut down three truck assembly plants for two weeks in order to free up 70,000 tires that can be used as replacements for those recalled by Bridgestone/Firestone. The unprecedented decision by the nation's No. 2 automaker came as the Center for Auto Safety, a safety advocacy group, filed suit to force Ford and the tiremaker to widen the initial recall of 6.5 million tires. Ford planned to brief Wall Street analysts about the expected cost to its earnings, but an official said the company expected to recoup most of the lost production of 25,000 vehicles by next year.
The president of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced the recall of 88,000 trucks and cars, saying his company had knowingly neglected to recall defective vehicles for more than 20 years. Denying he had any personal knowledge of the coverup, Katsuhiko Kawasoe said the recalls, which affect about 50,000 vehicles in the US, will cost the automaker about $69 million. Last month, Mitsubishi announced the recall of 532,000 vehicles.
Representatives of major airlines, airports, and organized labor met with Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater in an effort to address problems with flight delays and customer complaints. Outdated air-traffic control systems, severe weather, and increased demand, Slater said, accounted for mounting flight delays this summer. Industry analysts have projected the number of airline passengers will rise by 20 million this year.
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