Transportation Report

Airbag maker added to GM lawsuit

Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against General Motors for its handling of widespread recalls are adding the maker of airbags that were found to be defective to their list of defendants they are seeking compensation from. 

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, alleges that Auburn Hills, Mich., based Continental Automotive Systems US Inc. was aware its airbags were not deploying properly in the GM cars that have been recalled. 

GM is facing litigation for accidents involving recalled vehicles made between 2004 and 2010 that have been found to have a dangerous ignition switch flaw that caused cars to abruptly shut off or have their airbags disabled. The company is being accused of delaying issuing the recall, which has been linked to 13 deaths, until February of this year to avoid paying for repairs. 

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CBO: Highway fund will face shortfall under Obama budget

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Thursday that the Department of Transportation’s  Highway Trust Fund will not have enough money under President Obama’s proposed 2015 budget, despite an infusion of cash that has been suggested by the president. 

Obama has called for Congress to approve a four-year, $302 billion surface transportation bill before the federal government’s current road and transit funding measure expires in September. The money would be used to plug a hole in the Highway Trust Fund, which is normally used to pay for federal transportation projects. 

But the CBO said Thursday that Obama’s budget would still leave the Highway Trust Fund with a shortfall because the DOT needs to have at least $4 billion in the account to keep pace with infrastructure obligations. 

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Travel website adds Amtrak reservations

A popular travel website is adding Amtrak reservations alongside its flight options, USA Today reports

The website, CheapAir.com, will allow travelers who are going to east coast cities like Washington, D.C., Boston and New York to compare Amtrak trips with flights. 

The company says it is the first travel website that is primarily geared toward flights to offer Amtrak options, according to the report. 

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Co-pilot of flight that landed at wrong airport retires

The co-pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight that landed at the wrong airport in January has retired, the Associated Press reports

The pilot had been serving a suspension since working on a flight from Chicago’s Midway Airport that landed at the Taney County, Mo., airport instead of its intended destination in Branson. 

The two airports are about seven miles apart. The captain of the errant Southwest flight has resumed flying, according to the report. 

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DOT chief touts Atlanta Beltline project

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx touted a proposed multi-use transportation project in Atlanta known as the Beltline after touring part of the planned development Wednesday. 

Foxx was visiting Atlanta on the third day of his bus tour to push Congress to approve new road and transit projects this year. 

He said the Georgia capital's Beltline, which is a mixture of public transit such as streetcars and bike and walking trails, is the kind of project that can be built if Congress reauthorizes an expiring surface transportation bill before funding runs out in the fall. 

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Blumenthal slams GM for failing to replace ignition switches

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said it was “unacceptable” that General Motors (GM) still hasn’t given dealerships the replacement part needed to fix faulty ignition switches.

“Having failed to deliver new ignition switches to dealers last week as promised, GM CEO Mary Barra says now they’ll be there as soon as possible,” Blumenthal said. “That vague assurance is unacceptable when dangerously defective cars remain on the road and GM fails to provide adequate warning.” 

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American Airlines receives more Twitter bomb threats

American Airlines is receiving more bomb threat tweets after the arrest of a Dutch teenager who was reported by the airline for sending a terrorist threat via Twitter, The Washington Post reports

The teenager, who was arrested by police in the Netherlands, was a 14-year-old girl who tweeted to American on Sunday "Hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.” 

American Airlines responded to the tweet by saying it was contacting law enforcement officials, and Dutch police tweeted on Monday that they had arrested the girl. 

The incident has spawned multiple copycats, according to the Post report.  

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US Air: Porn tweet was ‘honest mistake’

A pornographic tweet that was sent from the US Airways’ was an “honest mistake,” the New York Daily News reports an official said with the company said this week. 

US Air has come under fire for including a picture of a naked woman using a model airplane as a sex toy in a tweet that was sent to a passenger who was complaining about flights on Monday. 

The airline quickly deleted the tweet and followed it up with a subsequent message apologizing for sending out the inappropriate image. 

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