Starwatch Consumer

Subaru and GM recall vehicles

Updated: 2013-04-03T00:17:40Z

Subaru recall

Subaru is recalling about 200,000 Legacy and Outback all-wheel-drive vehicles because the brake lines can rust and leak fluid.

The recall affects cars from the 2005 through 2009 model years sold in 20 states, including Missouri but not Kansas, and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.

Subaru said in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that salty water can cause the brake lines to rust and leak.

Buick recall

General Motors is recalling some model year 2013 Buick Encores with steering wheel fasteners that may not have been properly installed.

The problem could cause the steering wheel to come loose or separate from the steering column.

The recall involves 144 Encores equipped with a heated steering wheel and manufactured between Dec. 9 and Dec. 28. The safety recall is expected to begin by April 12.

Owners may call GM at 800-521-7300.

Fighting robocalls

There may soon be another way to fight those annoying recorded phone pitches known as robocalls.

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the winners of its contest to develop a blocking technology for the illegal calls.

The contest ended in a tie. The winners are Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss. Each will receive $25,000.

The technologies developed by Danis and Foss involve software that can analyze and filter calls to screen out those being placed from a computer or from someone who has been identified as an unwanted caller.

The agency isn't endorsing a particular technology but hopes the challenge will lead to one that can be developed for the marketplace.

Dell service

Dell is introducing a subscription-based customer support service for consumers who buy desktop computers, laptops and tablets.

For fees starting at $239 a year, users will have access to telephone or Web-based assistance 24 hours a day, the company said.

Dell will also provide support services via Facebook and Twitter.

Win for insurers

Health insurers stand to get significantly more money for running Medicare Advantage plans next year than they had thought, according to new government rates announced this week.

Companies that sell the plans, such as Humana, had warned that cutting funding too much would hurt benefits for seniors while driving plans out of some markets.

AT&T pre-sales

The HTC One smartphone will go on sale to AT&T customers starting April 19 for $199.99 and a two-year commitment for the 32 GB of memory.

However, the company will begin accepting pre-orders on Thursday. To reserve, go to www.att.com/htcone.

Mortgage settlement

Bank of America and the National Credit Union Administration have reached a $165 million accord to cover losses on purchases of residential mortgage-backed securities by credit unions that failed, the agency said.

The bank didn’t admit fault in the agreement. Bank of America has spent more than $40 billion to settle claims tied to flawed loans and foreclosures.

| Staff and news reports

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