Judge defers to government on GM vehicle safety issues

A Texas federal judge has denied an emergency motion that would have forced General Motors to tell owners of more than 2 million recalled cars to stop driving them until the ignition switches are replaced.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos issued her order Thursday in Corpus Christi. Attorney Robert Hilliard, who represents some owners, had argued that the GM cars could lose power at any moment and expose their occupants to serious injury or death.

The plaintiffs in the case, Charles and Grace Silvas, own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, which began experiencing sudden power loss beginning in 2010.

Ramos ruled that courts have deferred to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in cases like this.

Lowe’s agrees to settle violations from lead dust

The Justice Department says Lowe’s Home Centers agreed to settle violations of federal requirements that call for its contractors to minimize lead dust from home renovations.

The government said the company will pay a $500,000 civil penalty and will implement a compliance program for the retailer’s home renovations offered through its more than 1,700 stores.

Chipotle’s posts first quarter that tops analysts’ estimates

Blizzards and subzero temperatures couldn’t deter diners from getting their burrito fixes.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Thursday posted first-quarter revenue that topped analysts’ estimates and raised its forecast for sales at its established stores, allaying concerns that the chain’s rapid growth would slow amid harsh winter weather and fierce restaurant competition.

Sales in the quarter through March rose 24 percent, the largest quarterly gain in two years, to $904.2 million, the Denver-based company said. Analysts projected $873.5 million, on average. Sales at stores open at least 13 months jumped 13.4 percent. Analysts estimated an 8.8 percent increase, according to Consensus Metrix.

Michaels chain confirms security breach at stores

Michaels Stores Inc. said Thursday that about 2.6 million cards used at its stores may have been affected in a security breach but it has received “limited” reports of fraud.

The nation’s largest arts and crafts chain, based in Irving, Texas, says that its subsidiary Aaron Brothers was also attacked. Both stores were attacked by criminals using highly sophisticated malware that had not been encountered previously by the two security firms that were conducting the investigation.

The details come nearly three months after Michaels disclosed that it may have been a victim of a data breach.

A massive security breach at Target Corp. that affected 40 million cards has many shoppers worried about the safety of their personal data.

– From news service reports