Consumer Confidential: More jobs, funky Toyotas, more recalls
Here's your everybody-have-fun-tonight Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
-- First the good news: California added 14,200 jobs last month. Now the bad news: The unemployment rate is still a hefty 12.6% as more people look for work, thus adding to the ranks of the statistically jobless. California has the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation, after Michigan (14%) and Nevada (13.7%). The bottom line is that the Golden State has lost 355,500 jobs over the last year. Some of them will come back as the economy recovers, others may have moved elsewhere. Los Angeles County's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 12.3%.
-- What time is it? It's Toyota recall time. Friday's recall involves about 3,800 Lexus LS sedans, which may have a problem with the steering column. Toyota says there's a chance the steering wheel could become off-center while driving, which of course wouldn't be the optimum thing from a safety perspective. The recall involves late 2009 and some 2010 models. It follows the recall of about 4,500 LS models in Japan for the same reason.
-- A couple more recalls to note: The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Wal-Mart is recalling about 900,000 General Electric coffee makers because of a fire danger. The 12-cup digital brewers have been linked to several incidents of people being burned. Also, the agency says Target Corp. is recalling about 350,000 woven storage trunks after an 18-month-old child was seriously injured when a lid closed on her neck, cutting off air.
-- David Lazarus