VW to take $2.9 billion charge over diesel retrofit costs

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 4:14 AM
Updated: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 4:13 AM

Volkswagen says it expects to take charges of about 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in the third quarter to cover the costs of buying back and retrofitting diesel cars in North America.

The German automaker said Friday that it is increasing provisions for a buyback and retrofitting program for 2-liter TDI vehicles that was part of settlements over its diesel emissions scandal. It said that the program "is proving to be far more technically complex and time consuming."

The company has been under a cloud since 2015 over its equipping of diesel cars with illegal software that enabled cheating on U.S. emissions tests. Volkswagen has agreed to more than $20 billion in fines and civil settlements over the scandal, and it may have additional problems on the horizon in the U.S.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday that VW could face further scrutiny because it failed to properly inform U.S. regulators about changes to emissions control software in nearly one-half million cars with gas engines.

Citing an internal VW investigation, Der Spiegel reported that the software was changed in about one in five gas cars registered from 2009 to 2017. The report notes that the software wasn't used to illegally alter emission levels in tests.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and VW's top executive in the U.S. confirmed the inquiry on Friday.

VW of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said the company is cooperating with agencies involved. Asked if the software is another "defeat device," which could thwart emissions tests, Woebcken replied: "Not of my knowledge." He declined further comment at an event in suburban Detroit to announce a new longer warranty for VW vehicles.

The EPA said it couldn't comment due to "ongoing investigation work" and said the seriousness and outcome is not known at present.

The omission could further dent VW's image. The company is to release third-quarter earnings on Oct. 27.

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Get your fresh Georgia peaches this week when Southern food truck makes stops near Dayton

Published: Friday, April 27, 2018 @ 7:05 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:52 AM

The Peach Truck is coming to Dayton June 26

A popular Nashville food truck that sells fresh peaches from Georgia is making its way to the Dayton region.

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Starting Tuesday, June 25, The Peach Truck takes the food truck idea and puts a healthy, Southern twist on it — offering fresh, juicy peaches from Georgia. The truck will visit parts of Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus.

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The first few stops in Dayton will include Church of Incarnation, Rural King, Handyman Ace, Meadow View Growers and other garden centers.

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The Peach Truck idea came about when founder Stephen Rose moved to Nashville in 2010 and discovered no one sold fresh, flavorful peaches like the kind he’d grown up eating in Georgia. Two years later, he and his wife Jessica made a trip back to Rose’s hometown farm and started selling peaches out of the back of a ‘64 Jeep truck.

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The truck will make stops in Dayton, Hamilton, Kettering, Middletown, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, Xenia, Fairborn, Huber Heights, New Carlisle, Troy and Springfield. 

CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

THE SCHEDULE

TUESDAY, JUNE 26

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM — Dayton, OH - Church of Incarnation, 55 Williamsburg Lane 

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM — Hamilton, OH - Rural King, 1416 Hamilton Richmond Road 

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM —  Kettering, OH - Handyman Ace, 1950 E. Stroop Road 

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM —  Middletown, OH - Berns Garden Center, 825 Green Tree Road 

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM —  Beavercreek, OH - Berns Garden Center, 3776 Indian Ripple Road 

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM —  Miamisburg, OH - Handyman Ace, 1240 East Central Ave.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM — Richmond, IN - Tractor Supply Co., 4675 National Road E. 

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM — Xenia, OH - Rural King, 1900 Progress Drive

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Fairborn, OH - Handyman Ace, 122 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road 

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM — Huber Heights, OH - Rural King, 7611 Old Troy Pike 

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM — New Carlisle, OH - Meadow View Growers, 755 N Dayton-Lakeview Road 

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM — Troy, OH - Crystal Room, 845 W. Market St.

THURSDAY, JUNE 28

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM — Springfield, OH - Rural King, 1476 Upper Valley Pike

CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

The truck will return to the area again in mid-July. See the full schedule here.

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Fifth Third Bank to lay off undisclosed number of employees

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 9:38 AM

In 2016, Fifth Third Bank had nearly 50 branches and 700 employees in the Dayton area. The stadium where the Dayton Dragons play is also named for the bank. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
In 2016, Fifth Third Bank had nearly 50 branches and 700 employees in the Dayton area. The stadium where the Dayton Dragons play is also named for the bank. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Fifth Third Bancorp is cutting jobs in the region, bank officials are telling the media.

The company is not discussing the number of employee layoffs or how many are happening in the Dayton area.

No notice of layoffs appeared on the state’s “WARN” (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act) notice board as of early Friday. Typically, larger companies that lay off 50 or more employees within 30 days are required by law file a WARN notice with the state’s Department of Job and Family Services.

A Fifth Third spokesman said Friday the bank needs to make “adjustments when there is not a good match-up between staffing, market demand and the operating environment.”

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“Fifth Third has long had an approach of managing staff carefully and making ongoing adjustments,” Fifth Third spokesman Larry Magnesen said in an email. “That has helped avoid large, broad-based reductions.”

The Cincinnati-based company is still hiring for certain critical skills, and has about 1,122 open positions. More than 500 of those openings are posted on our a Fifth Third recruiting web site.

“It’s worth noting that the bank’s total employment in greater Cincinnati of about 7,500 employees is up by 800 over the last five years or so (since year-end 2013),” Magnesen said.

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He added: “Clearly, staffing adjustments increase efficiency. That is a priority of the bank in order to invest in the capabilities in terms of expertise and technology to address our customers’ evolving needs.”

Fifth Third met its goal of closing some 105 branches by June 2016, Greg Carmichael, the bank’s president and chief executive, told this news outlet in August 2016.

At the time, the bank had 47 branches and about 700 employees in the Dayton market.

Fifth Third’s board elected Carmichael, a University of Dayton graduate, its chairman early in 2018.

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Passengers on engine failure flight sue regional aviation companies GE Aviation, CFM

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 8:07 AM

Final assembly of the CFM56-5B jet engine produced by GE Aviation joint venture CFM International. FILE
Final assembly of the CFM56-5B jet engine produced by GE Aviation joint venture CFM International. FILE

Passengers on the mid-April Southwest Airlines flight that suffered a mid-flight engine failure are suing the airline and associated companies, including CFM International Inc., the engine manufacturer which has a Butler County presence.

More than two months ago, an Southwest Boeing 737 took off from New York, headed for Dallas. About 20 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of about 32,500 feet, a fan blade broke off the engine and shrapnel shattered a window. A passenger on that flight, Jennifer Riordan, 43, was sucked part of the way out of the broken window and pulled back inside by fellow passengers.

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Riordan later died in a hospital.

The engine had been made by CFM International — a joint venture between French firm Safran and GE Aviation headquartered in West Chester Twp. in Butler County.

CFM has since been inspecting the aircraft engines in question, CFM56-7B engines, which power certain Boeing 737 airplanes.

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Inspections are to be completed by August 31.

An “airworthiness directive” mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration in April says that airlines must perform these inspections every 3,000 cycles (1.5 to 2 years of operation). As well, airlines are required to inspect fan blades as they reach the 20,000 cycle threshold, with the continued repetitive 3,000 cycle inspections.

A spokeswoman for GE Aviation declined to comment on pending litigation.

The passengers’ lawsuit was filed recently in New York State Supreme Court. The suit also names the Boeing Co., GE Aviation Systems LLC, Safran USA Inc. and CFM International as defendants.

Riordan’s family is not part of the lawsuit, according to media reports.

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Kroger finalizes merger with Home Chef meal delivery company

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 4:52 PM


            Kroger at Beckett Commons in West Chester Twp. NICK DAGGY / STAFF
Kroger at Beckett Commons in West Chester Twp. NICK DAGGY / STAFF

The Kroger Co. finalized a merger with meal delivery company Home Chef this week as the Cincinnati-based company seeks to speed up growth in the meal kit market.

Home Chef will operate as a Kroger subsidiary and will assume responsibility for the grocer’s meal kit initiatives. Home Chef meal kits will now be featured in Kroger’s portfolio of stores and will remain available online.

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The initial transaction price is $200 million, with future earnout payments of up to $500 million over five years, contingent on milestones including significant growth of in-store and online meal kits, according to Kroger. Home Chef grew 150 percent in 2017, earning $250 million in revenue and delivering profit in two quarters, the company said.

“We couldn’t be more excited to join the Kroger family and for what this will mean for millions of customers,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef founder and chief executive, in a statement. “We look forward to bringing Home Chef’s simple, convenient and enjoyable meal solutions to Kroger locations.”

Home Chef, founded in 2013, is headquartered in Chicago and operates a distribution center there, as well as in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The company employs about 1,000 people.

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