Business briefs: NHTSA investigates effectiveness of Chrysler recall

June 11, 2014 

Chrysler has repaired only about 13 percent of the 745,000 Jeep sport utility vehicles affected by a 2012 recall, prompting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate whether the automaker's attempt to fix an air bag-related problem is working.

The agency decided to investigate after learning from Chrysler that the air bags in six repaired Jeeps deployed inadvertently, according to a report posted on the NHTSA website.

Chrysler announced the recall, which covered about 408,000 Grand Cherokees from the 2002-4 model years and 337,000 Jeep Libertys from the 2002-3 model years, in November 2012. By the end of March, the automaker had fixed only about 94,000, according to a report filed with the agency.

Chrysler said there was a delay while the automaker designed new parts, including an electrical noise filter meant to protect a sensitive air bag component and prevent the unintended deployments. The automaker's failure to repair vehicles more quickly has angered some owners who have complained to the safety agency that they were worried about being injured or losing control of the vehicle should an air bag unexpectedly deploy.

The recall followed an investigation by the agency based on complaints from owners about inadvertent air bag deployments.

Marathon Oil selling Norway operations

HOUSTON -- Marathon Oil is selling its Norwegian business to Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA in a deal valued at about $2.7 billion as it streamlines operations and hones its focus on the U.S.

The sale includes the Marathon Oil-operated Alvheim floating production, storage and offloading vessel, 10 company-run licenses and some non-operated licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in the North Sea. Last year's net production in Norway averaged approximately 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Marathon Oil Corp. anticipates approximately $2.1 billion in net proceeds from the sale.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The Houston company also said Monday it's holding on to its U.K. North Sea business because it did not receive an acceptable offer.

U.S. Stops testing orange juice for fungicide

LAKELAND -- The federal government has halted testing of all imported OJ shipments to U.S. ports for the illegal fungicide carbendazim.

The FDA disclosed in early January it would begin testing all OJ imports for carbendazim, which is illegal in the U.S.

It began testing Jan. 4 after the top two U.S. orange juice brands, Tropicana and Minute Maid, reported that some products containing Brazilian OJ had minor traces of the fungicide.

Brazilian growers used carbendazim extensively until the controversy arose.

Brazilian officials an

nounced in January they would cease using the fungicide but acknowledged it would take 18 months to eliminate all carbendazim traces from its OJ.

Research has linked carbendazim with cancer and birth defects, but the FDA determined OJ products with levels below 80 parts per billion is safe.

The Tropicana and Minute Maid products had 35 parts per billion or less.

--Herald wire reports

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