Electric carmaker to build $1B plant in Nev.
A Chinese-backed electric car company with visions of revolutionizing transportation — but no product to show yet — announced plans Wednesday to build a $1 billion plant near Las Vegas, marking the second time in just over a year that Nevada has landed a coveted project from the budding industry. California-based automaker Faraday Future's choice of Nevada over three other states is contingent on state lawmakers' approval of tax incentives that haven't been publicly described. Faraday has offered few details on its product so far, but has said it hopes to bring a vehicle to market as early as 2017 and plans to unveil a concept car in January ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Puerto Rico's economic crisis worsens
Puerto Rico's governor said Wednesday that it's probable the U.S. territory will be unable to make more upcoming debt payments because it has no more money amid a worsening economic crisis. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla spoke during a trip to Washington to meet with Republican legislators and others before a possible vote by Congress on Friday on whether to allow Puerto Rico public agencies access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy provisions. Puerto Rico faces more than $900 million in bond payments in January, including a $357 million general obligation bond payment due Jan. 1. It would be the island's first major default if the payment is not made. Puerto Rico's Public Finance Corporation already missed a $58 million bond payment in August.
GM to replace key engine parts on vehicles
General Motors Co. has decided to replace several key engine parts to stop oil leaks that have caused more than 1,300 fires and four recalls of older cars. But the parts aren't available yet, and GM is still recommending that the cars be parked outside until they can be repaired. The company said in a notice to dealers that it will replace the front valve-cover and gasket with improved parts under two recalls announced earlier this year. The recalls cover about 1.4 million cars with 3.8-liter V6 engines from the 1997 through 2004 model years. Models include the Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Intrigue, Pontiac Grand Prix and the Chevrolet Impala, Lumina and Monte Carlo. Oil can seep through valve cover gaskets designed to keep it inside the engine. Under heavy braking, oil can drip onto the hot exhaust manifold and catch fire.
United Airlines to offer free snacks again
United Airlines is bringing back free snacks for economy-class passengers in February. Those snacks were cut off in 2008 by United and Continental followed suit in 2011 after the airlines merged. Economy fliers can now look forward to treats ranging from stroopwafels, a Dutch treat of two thin waffles stuck together with caramel, to an Asian-inspired mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas. The airline said Wednesday that the snacks would return on all United and United Express flights within the U.S. and those in Latin America that don't already have them.
Airport spanning California, Mexico opens
One of the world's only airports spanning two countries opened Wednesday on a heavily fortified divide separating the United States and Mexico. The first arrivals came on an Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to the decades-old Tijuana International Airport and walked across a 390-foot bridge to a new $120 million terminal in San Diego. Target customers are the estimated 60 percent of Tijuana airport passengers who come to the United States, about 2.6 million last year. Until now, they drove about 15 minutes to a congested land crossing, where they waited up to several hours to enter San Diego by car or on foot. The airport bridge is a short walk to a U.S. border inspector.
Cabdrivers protest Uber in Toronto
Hundreds of cabdrivers clogged a number of major roads in downtown Toronto for several hours as they protested against Uber, calling on the city to enforce bylaws against the private ride-hailing service. The protest Wednesday drew criticism from many citizens. It also prompted Toronto Mayor John Tory to call for an end to "these kinds of dangerous and disruptive activities," after a confrontation between an angry cabdriver and what he believed was the driver of an Uber vehicle. Uber has raised the ire of Toronto's taxi industry, which says its business has dropped with the arrival of the unlicensed and lower-priced competitor.
Honda wins FAA approval to sell jets in U.S.
Honda has earned the U.S. regulatory approval it needed to launch full production of the auto-making giant's first aircraft. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said Wednesday that Honda Aircraft Co. received the certification from the FAA on Tuesday. HondaJet's model HA-420 business jet is expected to be the first in a line of aircraft made at a manufacturing hub and headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. The aircraft can seat up to seven and has a list price of about $4.5 million.