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Consumer Confidential: Continental legroom, Starbucks guns, Nissan recall

March 3, 2010 | 10:18 am

Here's your woebegone Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Continental Airlines is the latest carrier to dip into your pocket for a little civility. The airline says it will charge passengers about $59 for a little extra legroom. The economy-class seats come with seven additional inches of space in which to stretch out, which might not sound like much but can make all the difference between being comfortable and being a contortionist. The change takes effect March 17. You just know that charges for use of the toilet are coming soon.

--Starbucks says it won't back down from its decision to allow coffee-seeking customers to openly carry guns where legal, but it'd rather not be at the center of the gun-control debate, thank you very much. Gun enthusiasts have been making a point of toting firearms into Starbucks outlets to demonstrate that, well, they can get away with obnoxious things like that. Businesses have a right to turn such folks away, but Starbucks says its customers can do as they please. Anyone want to bet on how long it takes the company to sing a different tune?

--Another day, another car recall. Now it's our friends at Nissan, who say they're recalling more than 539,000 trucks, sport-utility vehicles and minivans that may have problems with brake pedals and fuel gauges. This is, of course, disconcerting. But if I had to choose between carmakers proactively trying to fix potential problems and those same carmakers waiting until it's too late before they act, I go with the former.

-- David Lazarus