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Consumer News

After 20-year hiatus, Alfa Romeo officially back in the US

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S. after a 20-year hiatus. This week dealerships are starting to receive shipments of the low-volume 4C sports car, which starts at $53,900, said Reid Bigland, head of the brand in North America. The plan is to provide eight Alfa Romeo cars and SUV models for North America by 2018 with total sales of 150,000. Globally, the business plan is to …

Hearing draws apology, admission in air-bag mess

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The global quality chief of Takata Corp. apologized and an official from Honda acknowledged the automaker broke a disclosure law as a Senate committee put the spotlight on a growing problem with exploding air bags. Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata’s senior vice president of quality, said the Japanese parts supplier is “deeply sorry …

Consumer group lists ‘10 worst toys’ for kids

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — A light-up bow whose arrows are advertised as flying up to 145 feet and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher on its end — are on an annual list of unsafe toys released Wednesday by a Massachusetts-based consumer watchdog group. World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., …

Back on the scene: Former owner of Northampton's C. McD’s Cafe, Caroline McDaniel to open ConVino wine bar in Thornes Marketplace

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — As a restaurant consultant in New York City during the 2000s, Caroline McDaniel watched dozens of wine bars open in the Big Apple. The Smith College graduate, who at the time frequently returned to Northampton for …

MAP Is Western Mass a tattoo mecca? Two new tattoo shops in Northampton and Easthampton drawing customers from near and far

Monday, October 6, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Local community leaders like to talk about the things that draw visitors to the Pioneer Valley — art, culture, events, outdoor opportunities. Another attraction bringing people to Hampshire County is the quest for high quality tattoos, …

GM recalls 500,000 vehicles; puts hold on new truck sales

Friday, October 3, 2014

General Motors ordered dealers to stop selling the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks until it fixes an air bag defect that will result in another recall. Dealers have sold only a few dozen units new midsize trucks. Separately, GM issued two new recalls affecting more …

Calif. bans plastic bags

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways. A national coalition of plastic bag …

Safety agency looks anew at freak Toyota acceleration

Monday, September 29, 2014

DETROIT — A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner’s allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker’s past. The …

Teen crash victims’ families drop GM suit, seek settlement

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DETROIT — The families of two Wisconsin teenagers killed in a car crash involving a faulty General Motors ignition switch have dropped their lawsuit against the company and are seeking a settlement with the automaker. The Oct. 24, …

Cadillac moves to NY

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — Cadillac wants a jolt from the city that never sleeps. General Motors’ 112-year-old luxury car division, founded in Detroit and named for the city’s founder, is moving its headquarters to New York. Cadillac, which has …

Critics spend heavily in bottle bill fight

Monday, September 22, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Opponents of a proposed expansion of the state’s bottle deposit law have poured another $2.4 million into a campaign to defeat the November ballot question. The opponents, which includes supermarkets and the Washington-based American Beverage Association — had already spent $5.4 million to help pay …

Broadside Bookshop celebrates 40 years in Northampton with weekend events

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Bruce MacMillan came to Northampton 40 years ago aiming to start a local bookstore for the community. This weekend, the owners who took over Broadside Bookshop when MacMillan died in 2001 are throwing a party to celebrate the store’s survival through the ups and downs of …