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Consumer Confidential: Citi hack grows, Chrysler issues recall, IBM turns 100

June 16, 2011 | 10:22 am

Citipic Here's your three-times-a-lady Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--I was carping last week about how Citigroup wasn't being forthcoming about the scope of a recent hack attack. Well, the financial giant has some more info to share ... and it isn't good. Citi now says the hack job in May affected almost twice as many accounts as the bank had initially suggested. A total of 360,083 North American Citigroup credit card accounts were affected by the breach. Some 217,657 customers were reissued new cards along with a notification letter, while the remaining accounts were either inactive or had already received new cards earlier. Citigroup had earlier said that about 200,000 North American accounts were affected. Customers had their names, account numbers and contact information accessed, but Citi said that "data critical to commit fraud was not compromised" and that other consumer banking online systems were not accessed.

--Today's auto recall (collect them all): Chrysler is recalling about 11,350 cars, minivans and other models because a manufacturing problem can cause the steering to fail. The recall affects 11 of the 20 models Chrysler has on sale for the 2011 model year. A missing or incorrectly installed rivet could cause a loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash. Recalled vehicles include the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan and convertible, and Town and Country minivan; the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan, Caliber compact car, Caravan minivan, Journey crossover vehicle and Nitro SUV; and the Jeep Compass wagon and Patriot, Liberty and Wrangler SUVs. The vehicles were built from mid-April to the middle of May. Dealers will check to make sure the rivet was installed correctly and make repairs free of charge.

--Happy birthday, IBM. International Business Machines has turned 100. The tech giant, which basically made possible the likes of Google and Facebook, dates to June 16, 1911, when three companies that made scales, punch-clocks for work and other machines merged to form the Computing Tabulating Recording Co. The modern-day name followed in 1924. With a plant in Endicott, N.Y., the new business also made cheese slicers and -- significantly for its future -- machines that read data stored on punch cards. These days, IBM isn't as much of a going concern, at least in cutting-edge tech circles. But considering the short-short lifespans of today's silicon leaders, it's pretty remarkable that Big Blue has lasted so long.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: Citigroup now says thousands more customers were hit by hackers. Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg