A123 Sale Appealed and 4 Auto Stocks Make Headlines

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): The federal government will extend its investigation into floor mats interfering with pedals in Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began by investigating 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles, and late last week, it stated that it intends to examine those 2008 and 2009 models and the Lincoln MKZ. NHTSA got 52 complaints that accelerator pedals were trapped by unsecured or stacked floor mats, but so far, no injuries have been reported. Currently, the investigation covers nearly 480,000 vehicles. Generally, NHTSA investigations lead to recalls.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) introduced its new 2014 Pickup Trucks not long ago, and visually, this generation has not made a large leap from the current version but could see a lot of reward in the future. GM has revealed its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, which features the all-new EcoTec3 engines. This new engine family will include a 4.3L V6, a 5.3L V-8 and a 6.2L V-8. “Investors may be a bit disappointed that there is no small turbocharged V6 gas or diesel engine. We’d point out that the cylinder deactivation feature essentially provides the same result (i.e. lower displacement and fuel consumption when not needed, and power in reserve when needed),” states Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache’s note to clients.

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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) is prepared to reclaim its name as the world’s biggest automaker for 2012, according to Bloomberg, while Volkswagen (VLKAY) and GM (NYSE:GM) continue to struggle for second place at the year’s end. The auto industry will likely see a record year as global sales are expected to exceed 80 million cars and trucks for the first time, while strong U.S. and Japanese purchases offset a European downturn, show estimates from LMC Automotive.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC): The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall of 807,161 2003 and 2004 Honda Odyssey minivans, 2003-2006 Honda Pilots, and Acura MDX SUVs due to possible rollaway issues. These issues are caused within the ignition interlock.

A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE): Johnson Controls Inc. has filed an appeal of the sale order of bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems Inc. to Chinese rival Wanxiang Group. Johnson Controls objects to a delay in payment of the fees that are already owed to it. Johnson Controls was the lead bidder for the bankruptcy auction of A123 during the month and was due a $5.5 million fee in exchange for support of the sale. Johnson claimed that it objected to a delay in the payment of the fee, which the bankruptcy court decided should only be released with the close of the sale or following an investigation by A123 creditors.

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