GM recalls trucks over hood problem

A welding error by a supplier has forced the recall of 119,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks from the 2010 through 2012 model years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The error, discovered by General Motors during the inspection of faulty hoods on several vehicles, caused a secondary latch to be left off the construction of the hood. That is a safety issue and a violation of federal regulations. If the primary hood latch is not engaged, the hood could open unexpectedly. General Motors will notify owners and instruct them to inspect their vehicle for the presence of a secondary hood latch. Dealers will replace the hood on any affected vehicles without charge.

BlackBerry maker's pricing power erodes

Research In Motion Ltd.'s pricing power with carriers shows signs of slipping after the BlackBerry maker was forced to cut subscriber service fees as demand for its smartphones in emerging markets slows. Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins told analysts Dec. 20 that RIM faces pressure to reduce fees to "stay relevant in our markets." Before the arrival of Apple's iPhone, carriers were willing to absorb the monthly subscriber fee to tap into BlackBerry's sales momentum and its data compression technology that ate up relatively little bandwidth. Both those advantages are disappearing. The pushback from carriers comes as new data suggests BlackBerry demand is slowing in markets such as India.

Vietnam's economy slows down

Vietnam's economy grew at the slowest pace in 13 years in 2012 as a fourth-quarter pickup failed to counter a slowdown in bank lending and domestic demand. Gross domestic product increased 5.03 percent in 2012, the General Statistics Office said in Hanoi Monday, down from 5.89 percent in 2011 and the slowest gain since 4.77 percent in 1999. The economy grew 5.44 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, up from a revised 5.05 percent pace in the third quarter, according to a document released today in Hanoi. Vietnam's economy has been hampered by slower lending as banks grappled with rising bad debt and under-capitalization. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on Dec. 10 expansion may reach 5.2 percent this year, down from earlier targets of as much as 6.5 percent.

Immigration audits hit record

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reached its highest number yet of companies audited for illegal immigrants on their payrolls this past fiscal year. Audits of employer I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238, according to data provided by ICE. The investigations of companies have been one of the pillars of President Obama's immigration policy. While the administration has used those numbers to bolster its record on immigration enforcement, advocates say the audits have pushed workers further underground.