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News digest 18/09/15: GM pays $900m settlement and call blocking firm fined for cold calls

18 September 2015

GM to pay $900m settlement for vehicles with faulty ignitions - read more

GM to pay $900m settlement for vehicles with faulty ignitions

General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a $900m (£580m) settlement in a criminal inquiry into vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The fault was reportedly known about for more than a decade, and has been connected to more than 100 deaths. GM has been investigated for its failure to check millions of cars for the defect, and for not recalling vehicles. The car maker admitted that it had not informed regulators and the public of the fault, or issued a timely recall of cars.

Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind cleared of breaking lobbying rules

Ex-foreign secretaries Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind have been cleared of breaking lobbying rules after discussing possible future work with Dispatches programme reporters. Parliament’s standards commissioner has said that neither broke commons rules, however Channel 4 remains convinced of wrongdoing and has asked broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to investigate.

Call blocking firm fined for making cold calls

Cold Call Eliminations, a Chichester-based firm selling call blocking devices, has been fined for making unsolicited calls itself. The firm reportedly made calls to those who had opted out of receiving them, including the elderly and cancer sufferers. The firm has been fined £75,000 by the Information Commissioner, which received 382 complaints over the course of two years.

Complaints to water companies dominated by worries about bills

Water companies in England and Wales received 106,693 complaints in 2014-15 according to the Consumer Council for Water. About 60% of these focussed on billing and charges. The overall number of complaints had dropped, however, falling 13.4% compared to the previous year. The watchdog congratulated the companies on the fall in complaints, but said that there was still room for improvement, as ‘the gulf between the best and worst performers remains unacceptable’.

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