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Kia tells owners of nearly 380,000 recalled cars to park them outside until repairs are made

In this Sunday, March 7, 2021, photograph, the company logo is shown on a sign as it stands over a long line of unsold 2021 sedans and sports-utility vehicles at a Kia dealership in Firestone, Colo.
In this Sunday, March 7, 2021, photograph, the company logo is shown on a sign as it stands over a long line of unsold 2021 sedans and sports-utility vehicles at a Kia dealership in Firestone, Colo.David Zalubowski/Associated Press


Kia tells owners of recalled cars to park them outside until repairs are made

Kia is telling owners of nearly 380,000 vehicles in the United States to park them outdoors due to the risk of an engine compartment fire. The Korean automaker is recalling certain 2017 through 2021 Sportage SUVs and 2017 through 2019 Cadenza sedans to fix the problem. The company says a short circuit in the hydraulic electronic brake control unit can cause excessive current, increasing the risk of a fire. Owners should also park them away from structures until repairs are made. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Unilever to drop the word ‘normal’ from its beauty, personal care products

Unilever says it will strike the word “normal” from all its beauty and personal care products and advertising as a step toward being more inclusive. The change will affect more than 200 hair and skin care products from brands including Dove, Vaseline, Lifebuoy, Axe, and Sunsilk, the London-based multinational announced in a Tuesday news release. It also pledged to increase advertisements featuring underrepresented models and will not digitally alter a person’s body shape or skin color in its advertising. “Normal” could typically be found on products like shampoo, such as “for normal to oily hair.” The shift comes after several of the company’s advertising campaigns sparked a backlash. In 2017, an ad for Dove body wash showed a Black woman removing her shirt to reveal a White woman in the next frame — which seemed to emanate a racist trope from historical soap ads. The ad was pulled and Dove issued an apology. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



House passes bill to aid labor, but Senate approval unlikely

The Democratic-led House on Tuesday approved legislation that would invigorate ­workers’ unions, following decades of court defeats and legislative setbacks that have knee-capped the labor movement’s ability to organize. The measure, which union leaders and labor allies have presented as a cure for decades of working-class wage stagnation, was approved on a mostly party-line 225-206 vote. But it faces an all-but-certain Republican blockade in a narrowly divided Senate and is unlikely to become law. In an angry floor speech, Representative Tim Ryan excoriated Republicans. “Heaven forbid we tilt the balance that has been going in the wrong direction for 50 years,” the Ohio Democrat said. “We talk about pensions, you complain. We talk about the minimum wage increase, you complain. We talk about giving them the right to organize, you complain. But if we were passing a tax cut here, you’d be all getting in line to vote ‘yes.’” — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Zillow faces antitrust suit over home listings

Zillow Group Inc. stifles competition in home listings online, leading to less choice and higher prices for consumers, a real estate brokerage startup claimed in an antitrust lawsuit. The startup, Rex - Real Estate Exchange Inc., said in a complaint filed Tuesday that Zillow recently adopted changes to its website that amount to a boycott of independent brokers and prevents home buyers from seeing a full picture of homes available for sale. The lawsuit marks the latest antitrust accusation against the residential brokerage business and its traditional commission structure. The National Association of Realtors last year settled a Justice Department complaint accusing the trade group of adopting a number of rules that reduced competition and harmed home buyers and sellers. The group is also a defendant in the Rex complaint. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Disney+ gives Netflix some competition

Walt Disney Co.’s flagship streaming platform topped 100 million users just 16 months after its launch, underscoring the power of the Marvel and Star Wars franchises and establishing the service as Netflix Inc.’s most formidable foe. The company announced that it reached the milestone on Tuesday, just ahead of its annual meeting. The service, called Disney+, debuted in the United States in November and rolled out to Canada, Australia, Latin America, and Singapore in the following months. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



$36 million in copper was just painted rocks

Commodities trader Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. struck a deal last summer to buy $36 million of copper from a Turkish supplier. But when the cargoes started arriving in China, all it found were containers full of painted rocks. Before its journey from a port near Istanbul to China began, about 6,000 tons of blister copper in more than 300 containers were switched with jagged paving stones, spray-painted to resemble the semi-refined metal. The bizarre case highlights commodity traders’ vulnerability to fraud, even when security and inspection controls are in place. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Airlines are adding jobs

US airlines are adding jobs as industry employment extends a rebound from a low in October, when tens of thousands of airline workers were briefly laid off after federal payroll aid expired. Cargo airlines have added jobs while passenger airlines have shed workers, mostly through incentives for workers to quit or take early retirement. The Transportation Department said Tuesday that 713,949 people held full-time or part-time jobs at airlines in mid-January, up from 694,638 in December and the low of 673,278 in October. However, the industry’s January employment was still down 5 percent from January 2020, before the United States felt the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated air travel. Delta Air Lines has made the sharpest reduction in its workforce, cutting nearly 28,000 jobs, or 30.9 percent of its workers, since January 2020, according to figures reported to the Transportation Department. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Nissan recalling cars over faulty brake lights

Nissan is recalling more than 854,000 cars in the United States and Canada because the brake lights might not come on when the driver presses on the pedal. The recall covers certain Sentra compacts from the 2016 through 2019 model years, including more than 807,000 in the United States. Nissan says silicon contamination from grease used in nearby components can cause oxidation that can make the stop lamp switch near the brake pedal malfunction. If that happens, the stop lamps may not light up and the engine may not start. Owners may see a malfunction indicator light on the dashboard if the condition happens. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Private markets a lure for investors

Investors are increasingly betting on private markets — and they want to use hedge funds to do so. Private markets equities have emerged as the strategy most in demand among non-traditional offerings from hedge funds, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG report Tuesday. The appetite for growth and venture capital investments is increasing “as private companies and unicorns become a larger part of the capital markets ecosystem,” according to the bank. More than half of the investors surveyed said they are now using hedge funds to access private markets. That figure rises to more than 70 percent for family offices, endowments, and foundations. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Resurgent Crocs to borrow in junk-bond market for first time

Crocs, the colorful clog maker made cool again thanks to singers Justin Bieber and Bad Bunny, is seizing on its unprecedented popularity and cheap financing to borrow in the US junk-bond market for the first time. The company plans to sell $350 million of eight-year bonds that are expected to yield between 4.25 percent and 4.5 percent, according to a person familiar with the matter. Crocs has seen its popularity surge throughout the pandemic, as stuck-at-home shoppers sought out comfortable shoes and a string of celebrity partnerships fueled momentum for the brand. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Beyond Meat’s stock rises on news of expanded offerings at Walmart

Beyond Meat’s shares jumped after the faux-meat maker said it would broaden its product offerings at Walmart. The maker of plant-based burgers will begin selling a meatless hot Italian sausage at 400 Walmart locations across the United States this week, Beyond said Tuesday in a statement. The company, which already sells some products at 2,400 of the retailer’s locations, will also expand its cookout-themed value pack to 500 of the stores. The expansion of the partnership that began in 2015 underscores the increasing demand for plant-based food, which is showing up in grocery stores and on restaurant menus worldwide. Already gaining traction before the pandemic, the category got a major boost in the supermarket aisles during 2020 as consumers, sometimes unable to find their favorite cuts of meat, increasingly cooked at home. — BLOOMBERG NEWS