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Consumer Confidential: Toyota's new recall, Macy's profit up

November 9, 2011 |  8:07 am

Here's your waiting-for-Godot Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Toyota is, yes, recalling more vehicles. The carmaker is recalling about 550,000 vehicles worldwide, including 420,000 in the U.S., for a potential steering problem. The defect involves the crankshaft pulley on V-6 Toyota- and Lexus-brand vehicles (four-cylinder models are not affected). Toyota says it has 79 reports about the defect dating back to 2007. The global recall is of 447,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, 38,000 in Japan, 25,000 in Australia and New Zealand, 14,000 in Europe, 10,000 in the Middle East and 14,000 in Asia outside Japan. In recent years, Toyota has recalled about 14 million of its vehicles.

-- Things are looking up for Macy's. Profit surged in the third quarter as the department store chain benefited from tailoring its merchandise to local markets. The retailer also raised its full-year profit outlook but offered cautious guidance for the current quarter, which covers the holiday period. Macy's says it earned $139 million for the three months ended Oct. 29. That compares with $10 million in the same period last year. Analysts say it's a sign that Macy's is on the right track. The results also bode well for other retailers as we enter the all-important holiday shopping season.

-- David Lazarus