Lighting problems prompt Mercedes C-Class probe

U.S. safety regulators are investigating about 218,000 Mercedes C-Class luxury cars because the rear lights can fail and even catch fire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe affects cars from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

The agency says it has 21 reports of the brake lights or turn signal lights dimming or failing to light. In many cases, the drivers reported a burning smell or melting of electrical parts. Some also reported smelling smoke or seeing burn marks in the trunks, and one reported small flames coming from the rear lamp connector when the trunk was opened.

China’s economic growth slows again as trade slumps

China’s leaders face new pressure to stimulate a slowing economy after growth fell to its lowest since 1991, hurt by weak trade and efforts to cool a credit boom.

The world’s second-largest economy expanded 7.5 percent over a year earlier in the three months ending in June, down from the previous quarter’s 7.7 percent, data showed Monday. Analysts said growth could fall further, adding to pressure on communist leaders who took power last year. They are trying to shift China from reliance on exports and investment to slower, more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption.

U.S. business stockpiles up modest 0.1 percent

U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles only slightly in May, despite a solid sales increase. The figures suggest economic growth has slowed but could pick up in the second half of the year.

The Commerce Department said Monday that business stockpiles rose just 0.1 percent in May from April, half the previous month’s increase.

Sales increased 1.1 percent in May after being flat in April. That’s the best gain since February.

Maker of 787 transmitter joining British fire probe

Honeywell said Monday that it has joined the investigation into last week’s fire on a 787 at London’s Heathrow Airport amid reports that investigators are eyeing whether its emergency transmitter played a role in the incident.

The emergency location transmitter sends a signal with the plane’s location if it’s involved in a crash.

The fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines 787 Friday brought back memories of two smoldering lithium-ion batteries in January that caused authorities to ground the 787 worldwide for more than three months. Boeing redesigned the systems that include those large, powerful batteries to win government approval so 787s could fly again.

- From news service reports