Toyota Sees Decline in China Sales and 4 Auto Stocks Making Headlines Now

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): U.S. safety regulators attempt to throttle issues regarding older Ford Escapes at the request of a consumer group. The nonprofit North Carolina Consumers Council requested that federal regulators investigate two complaints from drivers stating that the small SUVs stalled or surged forward. The government will be investigating 1.6 million Escapes from the 2005 to 2012 model years. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes the decision to launch a formal investigation, it may cause a recall of some of the SUVs. The council stated in its petition that Ford sent several advisories to dealers regarding the stalling and surging. The so-called technical service bulletins were sent out to assist mechanics in recognizing the problems and fixing them. Advisories like this are not recalls.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM): Fiat (FIATY) CEO Marchionne stated he would purchase GM’s European subsidiary Opel if GM’s alliance with Peugeot (PEUGY) diminishes, reveals Italian daily Il Sole-24 Ore, Reuters reports.

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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) China sales saw a drop of about 40 percent last month versus the previous year, due to a territorial fight between China and Japan, reports Reuters. Protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products spanned China in September concerning the Japanese government’s purchase of a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea from a private owner. Also, China makes a large portion of the company’s global sales.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC) added 820,000 vehicles to a recall that started during March concerning faulty headlight wiring. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation of nearly 577,000 Pilot S.U.V.’s and Odyssey minivans following reports that their Park interlocks failed, letting them just roll away. This was announced only days after Honda added the almost 600,000 Accords to a continuing recall regarding a fire hazard.

Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA): In the debate with President Obama on Wednesday, Mitt Romney mentioned electric-car maker Tesla Motors as a loser. He placed the car company in the same group as Solyndra, which is the solar panel company that fell through last year still owing $535 million to the federal government.

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