Business news

Agency demands recall data from GM


DETROIT —U.S. safety regulators are demanding that General Motors turn over reams of documents and other data showing what the company knew and when it found out about a dangerous ignition problem that has been linked to 13 car-crash deaths.

The National High­way Traffic Safety Admin­istra­tion is investigating how GM handled the problem, which triggered the global recall of 1.6 million older-model compact cars. GM has acknowledged it knew of the problem a decade ago but didn’t recall the cars until last month.

2 men guilty in sale of trade secrets

SAN FRANCISCO — Two men were convicted Wednesday of stealing an American company’s secret recipe for making a chemical used to whiten products from cars to the middle of Oreo cookies and selling it to a competitor controlled by the Chinese government.

The federal jury found Robert Maegerle, 78, and Walter Liew, 56, guilty of economic espionage and each could face 15 years or more in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

The men were convicted of stealing Delaware-based DuPont Co.’s method for making titanium dioxide, a chemical that fetches
$17 billion a year in sales.

In other news

ALPHA NATURAL Resources Inc., one of the nation’s largest coal producers, will pay a $27.5 million fine and spend $200 million to reduce illegal toxic discharges into hundreds of waterways across five Appalachian states, according to a proposed settlement Wednesday.

A PRIVATE SURVEY shows that U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 139,000 jobs last month, up from only 127,000 in January.