Wide range of Varieties available for Door Handles Online

In the earlier days buying a home was very simple, and organizing all the things was also a common thing. Since people started modernizing, this exact act of filling the home with furniture and other articles moved on to professional interior designers. These individuals have a keen and artistic mind while deciding the minute details of the house. One of those minute specifics to look at are the door knobs and handles. In earlier times it was seen that a simple bracket of metal in the shape of a rectangle was used as a door handle. But this trend changed as the interior designing flourished. With customized themed homes it was necessary to think over these designs. Today there are various types of door handles availablein market. Right from glazed metal brackets to artistic designs containing studded precious stones, these door handles have evolved from just being a means of opening a door to being a style statement.

Door Handles Online

Global reach

The reach of these specialized furnishings is global because of the online world. Today many of these door handles are available online. Plain wooden handles are a common sight in the online stores. Some of the specialized stores also offer carved wooden handles with animals carved on it, and there are also customized designs. One of the most commonly seen handles are plain stainless steel or iron handles. These are found almost in all houses. Some of the online marketplaces offer a wide range of metal handles made up of bronze, copper, silver and even gold. One of the most common and widely purchased set of handles is made up of glazed copper in the shapes resembling animals, nature and also famous personalities. Some of the rich and elegant online stores offer you the chance to customize you own handle and you also have the options to stud diamonds or precious stones into it.

Stainless steel and other finishing

But the most widely used ones are the one made of stainless steel. As stainless steel is low cost, these handles are less expensive and since a wide range of people prefer them for their houses, there is a huge range available. These come in all price varieties. The lowest and most preferable are crystal clean shining stainless steel. When given a satin coating these handles turn into golden. These are mostly used in places with light colored doors. Stainless steel handles also come in black, bronze and brass finishes. These give the handles their native colors and are a best choice when your walls are complementing the color of the handles. It was considered earlier that door handles were just a means of opening doors. And yes they are, but they also complement the beauty of the house.

Door Handles

Hi- tech handles

Many other hi-tech door handles are also available these days. These handles have electronic number locks and don’t have a moving part. Most of these used handles are either stationary that accompany a knob which serves the purpose of locking or are self-moving which makes locking easier. These hi tech door handles are stainless steel handles either glazed with bronze or brass to make them hard to break in. The electronic lock with a number combination helps for ensuring high level of safety. These locks fall in the category of home automation and are vastly available in online stores which also help in their installation. These ensure high level of safety for your wonderful home. In ancient times these minute furnishings were not given much importance but as the interior designing field advanced we came to know that even the smallest furnishing like the door handle can change the outlook of a place or carve an impression on the mind of a person opening the door with it.

Five New Home Improvement Tips You Must Know

For the large furniture you can arranged them from higher to lower. For the small accessories keep the vision consistency, for example put same style lights together, put same colour pillows side by side, this can make our room a sense of harmony and rhythmic.

2.Uniform style.

Renovation must base on the whole style and tone, it can not be wrong as you follow the whole style. For example, modern style decorations suite for simple style decoration and country style suite for rustics decorations.Some people use shutters on their windows, make sure your windows are the same style with your home, just let you get some idea, Plantation shutters Sydney can be consider.

Home improvement

3.Classify the ornaments
Many people will like to decorate the room with ornaments as many as possible, but too many ornaments will make your home look disorder. Solution is simple, just classify your ornaments according to the different seasons or environment, change the home style with different ornaments.

4.Change different fabrics style.
Different season have different scenery and color, so you must to change the fabric style with the season change, no matter gorgeous PRINT FABRIC, romantic lace or sumptuous silk. Just remember to choose a good provider, like curtains Sydney they always design and provide me the good quality and modern style curtains.

The fabric’s colors must mix harmony and unity, which can enhance the feel of visual entirety.
Linellae with hard band of soft and cool tone can make our home look gorgeous.

5.Home plants enhance energy.
If you want to make your home close to nature, try to put some home plants on your windows, replace different flowers by different season to make a huge romantic and spiceable surroundings.

How to Clean House With Minimal Effort

If you want to ever escape the tedious chores but keep the sparkle, there probably is only one word for you – optimization! It’s a key feature of every good organizer that could save you more time and effort you have ever dreamed of. Imagine doing the dishes while laundering and dusting while cleaning the windows. Such simple tricks might not sound promising but if you take a second to think about how many things could you do if you just manage to organize one resource we all have – time, you might stand in awe, too.

Really, think about how much time you waste everyday and what helpful tasks you could do in it. It sometimes seems like wasting time is an all-along activity. You waste it in the shop, on the job, in front of the TV, in the bath, etc. And it seems like everybody does it, too. That’s why a little effort here might mean saving a lot of effort somewhere else. For example, makingeffective and flawless house cleaning. If you just first sit down for a few minutes to write down what you plan to do when you may end up surprised how easy it is to organize your time. If you do the laundry while washing the dishes, for example, you can combine two chores for the prize of one in the same time. The same goes for dusting and vacuuming. First take a wet cloth and go all the way through your furniture, bins, drawers, etc. Then give it a great vacuum. Thus all the dust you couldn’t sweep will end up on the ground where you could just vacuum it. The same goes for a number of activities
cleaningTry prioritizing your activities as clear as possible and setting up a strict order to save time. This is the first step to cut down your troubles. If you live in a large house or have a big family may be your primary concern is the garbage and you should take care of it first when you come home. Then you could consider buying some groceries while you are still out. But if you have pets with long hair you may consider brushing or sweeping the dust (all along with the hairs) first. It depends entirely on your situation and personality what is most important when but if you just try to organize a simple chore schedule you will definitely notice how some things just need to be done before others. Like throwing the garbage, doing the dishes or vacuuming. Those chores should be first in your list! If you just try having housekeeping schedule for a few weeks you will notice the chores that just stand out. Those are your priorities! Put them first from now on and you will soon find out that cleaning is becoming faster and easier.

Then try to cross reference activities, e.g. find out what you can do simultaneously. Throwing the garbage and shopping and dusting before vacuuming are nice examples but once you have your schedule set up you could see what else you could cover while doing something! For example, could you walk the dog while throwing the garbage and shopping groceries? If you could you might also find time to stop by the bank along the way. Or any other outside activity. Learn how to organize your time so you could do maximum activities in a minimum steps. If you have good list and clear priorities this should be easy. You will be surprised how much time we lose each day on unnecessary activities. A good list will help you stick everything together and throw off time-consuming gaps. Then you will have extra time on your hands to do the rest of your tasks and get everything done faster and easier. The trick is not to overdo it and try to do everything at once but to disperse tiresome activities at regular intervals so you will have time to rest and then tire yourself again and again. Then you will have all the chores done and you will be still feeling great!

Yet another useful tip is to try arranging your home for the easiest and fastest cleaning possible. For example, if you put light and spacey rafts or stores on top of heavy drawers or desks you could make moving them for dusting or wiping easier. Put carpets or rugs on traffic highways and keep linoleum or vinyl floor covers regularly cleaned. Organizing for a low effort but regular cleaning can save you a lot of trouble for an irregular, but high effort cleaning. Put garbage containers close to plots, tables or cookers so all food garbage could easily end up in the bin and you don’t walk a long way between the place where you prepare the food and where you throw the garbage. Such little tricks might not seem big deals but they can save you a lot of effort!

Restaurants Are Jumping on the Fast-Casual Pizza Trend

Gourmet Pizza

 

The hottest trend in fast casual is no longer burritos, freshly baked sandwiches or even gourmet burgers. The key to fast growth in the otherwise stagnant restaurant industry is pizza.

Yes, pizza.

Unlike the traditional pizzerias that are best known for the quick deliveries of large pies, the fast-casual movement is led by chains that assemble individual-sized pizzas as they’re ordered, firing them up in commercial ovens that bake up the customized pies in minutes.

Nation’s Restaurant News recently singled out some of the rising stars of fast-casual pizza. They are small regional chains at the moment. There’s Fired Pie in Arizona, Blast 825 in California and &pizza in the Washington, D.C., area.

The movement is strong, and even the biggest players are still in their infancy. Nation’s Restaurant News points out that Pasadena-based Blaze Pizza was the first chain to hit 50 units last year, but two other concepts — Pieology and Mod Pizza — are expected to surpass 100 locations by the end of this year.

Things are moving pretty fast in this space and even the big boys are starting to pay attention.

There’s Dough to Be Made

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) hopped on the fast-casual craze early with its namesake burrito chain, and two years ago it made a tactical investment in Pizzeria Locale. It tweaked the concept by incorporating the assembly-line ordering process that has made Chipotle so popular, letting folks pick out individual toppings for the 11-inch pies that are then baked up in turbo ovens that deliver the goods in just two minutes.

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) has also taken a minority stake in PizzaRev, another fast-casual concept. Customers order artisanal pizzas that are built as they’re ordered and they’re ready to eat after a three-minute stint in the oven.

Some of the chains that don’t have affiliations with public companies are also well connected. Fired Pie was started by regional executives from California Pizza Kitchen and &pizza has Ruby Tuesday’s (RT) founder as its chairman of the board.

With privately held chains growing quickly and big money behind some of the publicly traded operators, it’s a safe bet that vacant stand-alone buildings and strip mall locations will be easy sells for this new breed of pizzeria. One would think that the new niche’s success would come at the expense of traditional chains, but that hasn’t been the case so far. Analysts see revenue at Papa John’s (PZZA) and Domino’s (DPZ) growing at 5 and 9 percent, respectively, this year. Then again, they have also embraced the trend by adding fancier fare to compete with changing dining preferences.

The fast-casual pizza trend is heating up, and just like the pies themselves, it’s heating up in a hurry.

Survey Says: Your Interest Rate Is Going Up

Financial Markets Wall Street Federal Reserve
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaking in March. The Fed has signaled that it’s edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows in light of a strengthening job market.

“April job gains rebound to 223,000; unemployment dips,” blared a recent headline on USA Today. But if you’ve got money in the stock market, that news may not be as good as it sounds. It could even be the prelude to a market crash.

Here’s how.

Good News …

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American economy did indeed add 223,000 new jobs in April, while unemployment declined to its lowest level since the financial crisis — 5.4 percent. What’s more, among those with jobs, average wages ticked up 3 cents to $24.87 an hour, marking a 2.2 percent rise over the past year. All of this adds up to a healthier economy, and in the opinion of the Federal Reserve, a healthy economy is one that can withstand higher interest rates.

For months, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has been hinting that the Fed may soon begin raising interest rates — perhaps as early as this summer, perhaps in the fall. With the economy on the mend, more people getting jobs, and workers earning more at those jobs, it’s likely the Fed will begin raising interest rates”sooner rather than later,” argues USA Today in another article.

And it’s not just USA Today that thinks so.

According to a recent poll by Gallup, 56 percent of U.S. investors expect interest rates will rise either a little or a lot in the next 12 months. Only 7 percent expect to see a decline.

… Becomes Bad News

Noting that interest rates have been “practically zero” since 2006, Gallup warns that any increase “could be a shock to the market and investors who have become accustomed to extremely low rates.”

Gallup explains that investors in recent years have avoided money markets and CDs paying minimal interest, putting most of their money in the stock market. This is a key reason that the Dow is now sitting near 18,000. With nowhere else to put their money, investors have been using their savings to buy stocks. This buying has pushed stock valuations up to levels that Yellen described during an interview with the IMF last week as “quite high.”

This situation could be especially dangerous for retirees. Gallup notes that nearly 1 in 5 retirees agrees that in recent years they have “put more money in stocks than [they are] usually comfortable with,” specifically because the interest rates elsewhere are so low. Raise those rates, and investors might pile out of stocks, sending the stock market into a nosedive.

Granted, investors who are happy with recent stock market returns say they aren’t likely to move their money out of stocks, and into CDs and money markets, even if those start paying better interest. (But 23 percent tell Gallup that they willswitch.) Even those who say they won’t could change their opinion in a hurry if stocks start to tumble — creating a snowball effect of more and more investors fleeing the stock market for the relative safety of CDs.

What to Do Now?

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for you, though. Everyone sees the risk of rising interest rates to the stock market. But so far, few people are acting to avoid that risk. That means there’s still time to move to the front of the line and begin preparing your investments for the expected rise in interest rates. A few moves you might consider:

  • Cash out. If your stocks are up, now might be a good time to take some money off the table. Put it in a bank account and then, if interest rates rise to a level you like, you can use this money to buy a CD.
  • Cash out — then cash back in. Alternatively, money taken out of the stock market today, and stashed safely in a bank account, could be used to buy back into the stock market later on — if rising interest rates cause stocks to become cheaper.
  • Got a mortgage? Higher interest rates will mean more expensive mortgages. Right now, a 30-year mortgage costs just 3.8 percent interest,according to Freddie Mac. That’s nearly a half-percent cheaper than the same mortgage cost a year ago, and more than a full point cheaper than mortgages cost five years ago. If you agree with (almost literally) everyone else that interest rates will rise over the next 12 months, the time to lock in a low rate is now.
  • Owe money on a credit card? If the Fed hikes interest rates, and banks do the same, then the first place we may feel the impact is on variable-rate credit cards. Here’s a hint: You don’t want to be caught with large unpaid debts on your credit cards when rates begin to rise. While as a general rule, it’s always a good idea to cut back on spending, and pay down high-interest debt whenever possible …

… today, with everyone agreeing that interest rates are moving higher, there’s simply no time like the present to get started.

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith tries to practice what he preaches. He has his mortgage refinanced and his credit cards paid off. (Do you?) Next step: Sell some stocks. If you’re looking to buy instead, check out The Motley Fool’s one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.

Last Week’s Biggest Stock Movers: Nuverra Jumps, ITT Tumbles

 

20120105-OC-AMW-0502

 

Plenty of stocks go up and down in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets.

Let’s go over some of last week’s best and worst performers.

Nuverra Environmental Solutions (NES) — Up 59 percent last week

The market’s biggest gainer was Nuverra, moving higher after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. The numbers may not seem pretty. Revenue from continuing operations clocked in at $119.1 million, 7 percent lower than during the same period a year earlier. The provider of environmental services to the energy industry rang up an adjusted loss of 41 cents a share.

Energy production has slowed as a result of low prices, and that’s naturally leaving a dent in the provider of drilling and related services. However, analysts were holding out for a deficit of 52 cents a share on just $117.7 million in revenue.

Nuverra shareholders are still in a world of pain. The stock has shed 73 percent of its value since peaking last summer, even with last week’s big move higher.

Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) — Up 28 percent last week

The avian flu outbreak in the U.S. is playing out on Wall Street, and this week that found an analyst raising Cal-Maine’s price target. Cal-Maine is a leading producer of shelled eggs, and while the outbreak threatens to reduce the number of egg-laying hens out there, it also should firm up Cal-Maine’s pricing. Sidoti & Co. is raising its price target by $16 to $67 on the welcome pricing environment for Cal-Maine.

Crocs (CROX) — Up 13 percent last week

The footwear company that’s famous — or infamous — for its comfortably yet fashionably dubious resin shoes moved higher after Piper Jaffray analysts upgraded the former market darling. Piper Jaffray is raising its rating and its price target on Crocs based on an expected improvement in operating margins during the second half of this year as clogs become a bigger part of the footwear maker’s business.

ITT Educational Services (ESI) — Down 31 percent last week

Shares of ITT shed nearly a third of their value after the Securities and Exchange Commission suggested that its executives were engaging in fraud. The allegations claim that ITT tried to cover up the failure of student loan programs from investors. Mounting defaults at the high-risk loan programs supposedly led to accounting tricks at ITT to mask tens of millions of dollars in unpaid debt, including even making small installments on behalf of students to delay the default.

This is the latest scandal to rock the for-profit post-secondary education market, which continues to suffer from across-the-board enrollment declines, poor student loan repayment rates, and questions about the quality of the educational programs.

hhgregg (HGG) — Down 18 percent last week

Consumer electronics and appliances aren’t selling the way that they used to at hhgregg. The retailer took a hit after posting weak financials. Sales plunged 10 percent at hhgregg in its latest quarter since the prior year’s comparable period, and it also posted a larger deficit.

The culprit at hhgregg was a 10 percent year-over-year plunge in comparable-store sales. All four of the retailer’s product categories declined during the quarter, and that includes appliances, which had been a shining star in hhgregg’s business when the real estate market started to turn around a couple of years ago.

Rosetta Stone (RST) — Down 11 percent last week

The only thing worse than seeing a stock stumble 11 percent in a single week is seeing it fall by another 11 percent the week after. That’s what happened at Rosetta Stone following another uninspiring quarterly report earlier this month.

The language-learning software specialist posted a larger-than-expected loss, again. It probably didn’t help that an analyst downgrade kicked in on Friday of the prior week, keeping the negative market sentiment going last week.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Rosetta Stone. The Motley Fool owns shares of Crocs and Rosetta Stone. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.

Is America Getting Over Its Coffee Addiction?

 

Young woman drinking out of an orange cup

You wouldn’t know it from the crowd at your local Starbucks (SBUX), but coffee consumption in this country has been declining. According to a survey by the National Coffee Association, 59 percent of respondents drank at least one daily cup of java last year, down from 61 percent in 2014’s study and 63 percent in 2013.

Meanwhile, the average number of cups consumed a day fell to 1.85, an 8 percent drop from the 2014 level and the lowest figure since 2010.

Coffee isn’t only part of our business and social culture, it’s considered a big part of the day-to-day routine for many Americans. Why, then, are those numbers falling?

Not Your Father’s Cup o’ Joe

Consumption of the powerful dark liquid has changed radically over the years. In the old days, drip coffee was usually the only variety available at home, in restaurants, and at various kinds of takeout establishments. It was a bulk product, brewed into pots and sold at low prices.

The market changed when espresso-based beverages began their ascendancy in the 1990s, headed by the likes of Starbucks and other slingers of European-style drinks. These “designer” versions of good old java commanded higher prices, thanks in no small part to the labor involved in making them. Coffee became more of a treat, a specialty product as opposed to a commodity.

The prevalence of designer coffee is an established trend that’s becoming even more entrenched. According to the NCA, thirty-four percent of those surveyed said that they’re drinking what’s characterized as “gourmet coffee” every day, a notable increase over 2013’s 31 percent. “Gourmet,” in this case, means a product that’s either espresso-based or made from premium beans, according to the NCA.

If we narrow the parameters strictly to espresso-based beverages, those figures show even higher take-up — 18 percent for 2014, compared to only 13 percent the previous year.

The shift toward designer coffee results in a move toward pricier offerings. After all, lattes, cappucinos and their ilk are significantly more expensive than traditional varieties. These days a Starbucks Grande Latte, for example, will set a customer back around $4.40 in California.

By comparison, a 48-ounce jug of J.M. Smucker’s (SJM) famous Folgers instant coffee brand can be bought for something like $18.76. On a per-cup basis, that works out to around 5 cents.

In the times when the big pot of drip coffee was the standard, it cost very little to continually refuel your cup. At a price nearing or exceeding $5 a serving these days, few people have the means or the inclination to throw down more than a couple of Starbucks drinks every day.

Tea for Me

Some of the volume lost by coffee has been gained by its traditional rival, tea. According to the The Tea Association of the USA, the American market for the beverage increased by roughly 10 percent from 2012 to 2014, landing at over $10 billion in the latter year.

Like the culture of coffee, that for tea in America has shifted over the years. But the difference is, it’s become broader rather than narrower, with a range of previously obscure varieties going mainstream — witness the prevalence of green tea, for example or the ascendancy of the spice-laden chai variation.

Meanwhile, big companies have successfully devoted big resources to selling the cold variety of the beverage. In Coca-Cola’s (KO) list of its top 20 products, three are teas while only one is a coffee drink. Those three — Fuze, Gold Peak and Ayataka — achieved this status only recently, beginning in 2012.

In what has to be seen as an acknowledgement of tea’s rising popularity, Starbucks acquired specialty retailer Teavana in 2013. In its last full fiscal year before being swallowed by its present owner, Teavana’s revenue grew by a brisk 35 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Designed for Popularity

Americans have always loved their coffee, but the shape of this affection has changed. No longer is it the drink kept close at hand, quaffed at regular intervals to get us through the day; instead it’s enjoyed more intermittently and in fancier forms.

Not to mention much heftier prices, to the benefit of the latte and cappuccino purveyors now seemingly on every street corner.

Motley Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.

Dog Food Company Recalls Product Over Salmonella Fears

Portrait - Golden retriever

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. — A specialty dog food company is voluntarily recalling a frozen product distributed in four states over fears of possible salmonella contamination.

The Food & Drug Administration said last week that California-based OC Raw Dog has recalled its Turkey & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation.

The recalled formulations were packaged into 6½-pound Doggie Dozen Patties and 5-pound Bulk Bags with sell-by dates of Oct. 8.

The products were distributed in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri and Pennsylvania. The food is sold through independent pet specialty retailers.

No illnesses have been reported. The FDA says pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting.

Feds to Hold Hearing on Fiat Chrysler Recall Compliance

FILE - This March 6, 2012 file photo provided by the law offices of Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP shows a burnt-out Jeep Grand Cherokee at the scene of a crash in Bainbridge, Ga. 4-year-old Remington "Remi" Walden was killed when the vehicle exploded into flames after being rear-ended. The U.S. government�s highway safety agency says it will hold a public hearing on July 2, 2015 to determine if Fiat Chrysler has met its legal obligations in 20 safety recalls. (Courtesy of Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP via AP, File)

 

DETROIT — The U.S. government’s highway safety agency says it will hold a rare public hearing in July to determine if Fiat Chrysler failed to notify customers and fix safety problems in 20 recalls covering more than 10 million vehicles.

Among the recalls is a contentious one covering 1.56 million Jeeps with gas tanks located behind the rear axles. The biggest involves almost 3 million cars with air bag inflators that can potentially rupture and injure a car’s occupants.

The agency could order Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), formally known as FCA US LLC, to buy back or replace vehicles if it finds the company failed to fix defects, according to a statement issued Monday.

To prevent crashes, injuries and deaths, manufacturers need to fix these defects.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said some consumers complained that they weren’t notified of the recalls, while others said dealers lacked repair parts and didn’t have service appointments available.

“To prevent crashes, injuries and deaths, manufacturers need to fix these defects,” agency administrator Mark Rosekind said on a conference call.

Such public hearings occur rarely, and a single hearing for one manufacturer on multiple recalls is unprecedented, said Allan Kam, a former NHTSA enforcement attorney.

Fiat Chrysler, he said, likely wasn’t giving the agency satisfactory answers in conversations before it set the hearing date. He expects the company to settle the matter before the hearing to avoid bad publicity.

NHTSA has been feuding with Fiat Chrysler for more than two years over the Jeep gas tank recall. The tanks offer little protection in a rear-end collision and are responsible for at least 75 deaths nationwide, according to agency documents.

But Rosekind told reporters that an examination of the company’s recalls found a broader problem. In one recall, a recommended fix didn’t work.

“It’s really across the board, which is why we’re looking at all 20 of them,” Rosekind said. “There were already communications telling them to improve their performance, and we didn’t see that direction followed.”

Rare Hearing

NHTSA last scheduled a public hearing in 2012 and ordered a motorcycle maker to pay customers for the value of their vehicles in that case.
In 2011, the agency threatened a hearing about Ford Motor Co. (F) pickup trucks, but Ford recalled the trucks before the hearing could take place.

NHTSA will hold the hearing July 2. Witnesses and the automaker will be able to present evidence. The agency also ordered Fiat Chrysler to provide information on the pace of repairs of several recalls.

Chrysler said in a statement that the completion rate for all of its recalls exceeds the industry average. The company said it would cooperate fully with regulators.

In the Jeep recall, NHTSA data shows that by April Fiat Chrysler had repaired only a fraction of the Jeeps, far below the average completion rate of 75 percent in the 18 months after a recall starts. But Rosekind said Monday that the agency will not reopen the investigation that led to the Jeep recall.

Fiat Chrysler had fixed just 4 percent of the Grand Cherokees and 27 percent of the Libertys that were recalled.

Chrysler has maintained that the Jeeps are as safe as comparable vehicles built during the same time.

Takata Air Bag Recall Doubles to Nearly 34 Million

 

february 15  2014   berlin  the ...

WASHINGTON — Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million air bags defective, a move that will double the number of cars and trucks included in what is now the largest auto recall in U.S. history.

The chemical that inflates the air bags can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal inflator and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. The faulty inflators are responsible for six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

The agreement adds more than 10 million air bags to existing recalls, covering both the passenger and driver’s side. The recalls of passenger-side air bags, previously limited to high-humidity states along the Gulf Coast, are now expanded nationwide to include 16 million vehicles. A nationwide recall of driver’s air bags was expanded to more than 17 million vehicles.

This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history.

“We know that owners are worried about their safety and the safety of their families,” said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as he announced the agreement. “This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history.”

Safety regulators sparred with Takata for the past year over the size of the recalls and the cause of the problem. For the most part, the air bag maker refused to declare the inflators defective and even questioned the agency’s authority to order it to conduct a recall.

Takata and 11 automakers that use its air bags, including Honda Motor (HMC) and Toyota Motor (TM), will have to sort out which vehicles are covered by the expanded recalls. NHTSA said the number of affected air bags could climb.

Prior to Tuesday, automakers had recalled 36 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem.

Before Takata, the largest recall in U.S. history was in 1980 when Ford Motor (F) had to fix 21 million cars and trucks with automatic transmissions that could slip into reverse. The Takata recall dwarfs last year’s highly publicized recall of 2.6 million General Motors (GM) small cars for defective ignition switches and Toyota’s recalls of 10 million vehicles for problems with unintended acceleration.

Immediate Action Needed

Rosekind said the agency and auto industry are still trying to determine precisely what is causing Takata’s inflators to explode, but action needed to be taken immediately.

Takata’s air bags use ammonium nitrate to inflate in a crash. But the chemical, which can be used to make bombs, is volatile. So far, testing has found that airborne moisture can get into the inflators and cause the ammonium nitrate to burn hotter than it should, Rosekind said.

He urged car owners who get recall notices in the mail should immediately make an appointment to get their cars fixed.

On Feb. 20, NHTSA began fining Takata $14,000 a day for failing to fully cooperate in the investigation. That fine accrued to more than $1.2 million before it was suspended Tuesday due to Takata’s cooperation, NHTSA officials said. Other civil penalties are still possible, they said.

Still, it likely will be months or longer before Takata and other companies can manufacture all the needed replacement inflators. Inflators will be allocated to older cars and to high-humidity areas first, where people are most at risk, the agency said. The expansion will cost Takata millions of dollars.

Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada said in a statement that the action is a “clear path” to restoring the trust of automakers and drivers.

“We are committed to continuing to work closely with NHTSA and our automaker customers to do everything we can to advance the safety of drivers,” he said.