Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stuff: GM offers loaners, Starbucks tips go digital.

Kelly Ruddy, 21, of Pennsylvania, died when her 2005 Cobalt overturned and burned in 2010.

New York Times

Kelly Ruddy, 21, of Pennsylvania, died when her 2005 Cobalt overturned and burned in 2010.


Psst! GM is ready to give you a loaner

General Motors is offering free loaner cars and $500 toward a new GM vehicle to the owners of 1.6 million cars that are being recalled for a deadly ignition switch defect. But the owners have to ask in order to get the benefits. The offers, disclosed Wednesday in a document on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, are effective immediately. Owners will be able to use the loaner cars until parts arrive at dealerships to replace the switches. They are expected around April 7, GM said. The cars being recalled are Cobalts and Pontiac G5s (model years 2005-2007), Saturn Ion compacts (2003-2007), and Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars (2006-2007). Faulty ignitions can shut off engines unexpectedly. GM says 13 people have died in crashes linked to the problem. GM is facing a Department of Justice investigation over its handling of the recall. The company has admitted that it knew about the problem a decade ago.


Starbucks tips go digital

Starting next Wednesday, Starbucks says customers will be able to leave tips with the company's mobile payment app for iPhones. Starbucks says roughly one out of every 10 purchases now is made with a mobile device. After paying with the app, customers will be able to leave a tip of 50 cents, $1 or $2 anytime within two hours of the transaction. The move puts a spotlight on what can be a sensitive topic for customers, workers and even Starbucks, which has faced lawsuits over how it divvies up the contents of tip jars among workers. Zee Lemke, 30, who has worked as a Starbucks barista in Wisconsin for three years, says tips generally add between $1.50 and $2 to her hourly pay of $9.05. While mobile tipping has the potential to boost the amount she earns, she doesn't like the idea of employers relying on tips to compensate workers. "It's a way of claiming workers make more than you're paying them," she told the Associated Press.

personal tech

Google likes Credit Karma

Google is betting that good things will happen to Credit Karma, an online service that provides consumers with free copies of credit scores. On Wednesday, Google announced that it is part of a group investing $85 million in Credit Karma. Anyone who sets up a free account at Credit Karma can check their credit scores once a week. Credit Karma obtains its credit score through TransUnion, one of the three major U.S. credit-rating agencies along with Experian and Equifax. The service also lists a score based on another formula used by all three agencies and another number that most auto and home insurers rely upon to evaluate how likely their prospective policyholders are to file a claim. Credit Karma CEO Ken says the company's next product will be unveiled in a couple of months and will offer free access to a service that consumers now pay to get.


Safer hydrocodone coming

The maker of OxyContin says it has completed testing of an abuse-resistant version of the painkiller hydrocodone. Purdue Pharma plans to submit its extended-release hydrocodone drug to the Food and Drug Administration later this year. The tablets are designed to prevent users from crushing them for snorting or injection. This development could derail sales of the recently launched Zohydro, a powerful pain medication that has been criticized for lacking such safeguards. Purdue says its version of hydrocodone will be similar to the tamper-resistant version of OxyContin it launched in 2010. The FDA later blocked all generic versions of the pill that did not have the abuse-deterrent features, effectively allowing Purdue to extend its exclusive marketing of the pill. — tbt*

Stuff: GM offers loaners, Starbucks tips go digital. 03/12/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  4. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  5. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy


    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.