Honda ads will urge owners to get recalled air bags fixed

Honda is launching an unprecedented U.S. ad campaign urging owners to get vehicles repaired if they have been recalled to fix defective air bags.

The Japanese automaker will spend several million dollars on ads in 120 newspapers and 30-second radio spots in 110 markets. It’s also sponsoring customized Facebook posts that will appear in owners’ timelines. The ads will begin running next week.

Honda has recalled about 6.2 million cars in the U.S. since 2008 because air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into the vehicle. Ten automakers have recalled about 22 million cars globally to replace Takata inflators. Six deaths have been blamed on the problem.


Airlines achieve record year for filled seats, global travel

The rebound for the airline industry continues, with U.S. carriers reporting record-high rates of filled seats and total international travelers in 2014, according to federal statistics released Thursday.

More than 98 million passengers traveled to international destinations on U.S. airlines in 2014, a record, and 662 million flew on domestic flights, the highest total since 2007. The percentage of seats filled in 2014 rose to a record 83.4 percent from 83 percent in 2013.

The latest numbers show how far the industry has climbed since 2009, when the economic recession pushed total domestic travel numbers down to 618 million and international travelers slid to 83 million.


Growth fizzled out, but CEO of Coca-Cola got $18.1 million

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent was given a pay package worth $18.1 million last year after the world’s biggest beverage company failed to meet its own growth targets.

The compensation is on par with the $18.2 million that Kent received in 2013, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The pay package for 2014 would have been higher if Kent had accepted a $2.5 million cash performance bonus.

Kent, who is 62 and has been CEO since 2008, said he turned down the bonus because there was “still much work to be done” to improve the company’s performance. That work has included job cuts.


Juries to decide lawsuits that could be costly for Uber, Lyft

Two federal judges here say juries will have to decide whether drivers for Uber and Lyft were either independent contractors or employees of the ride-hailing companies with all of the protections and benefits the state affords regular workers.

Two former Lyft drivers and four current Uber drivers have filed two separate lawsuits alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors and thus deprived of California’s minimum wage, reimbursement for work-related expenses, and other protections. The plaintiffs seek class-action status on behalf of current and former drivers in California.

Lyft and Uber dispute the claims and had asked the courts to issue summary judgments against the plaintiffs.

The judges’ rulings Wednesday have potentially expensive ramifications for Uber and Lyft. They said only a jury could decide the issues because evidence could sway a reasonable jury in either direction.

— From news service reports