- - Monday, August 1, 2011

AUTOS

July a weak month for U.S. sales

DETROIT — Car shoppers worried about the U.S. economy last month and that kept sales in a funk.

U.S. sales of new cars and light trucks are expected to rise only slightly in July. The weak economy and high sticker prices kept Americans from buying more. Automakers are scheduled to report last month’s sales on Tuesday.

July extends a disappointing stretch for automakers after a strong start this year. Sales slowed in May and June after an earthquake in Japan cut into supplies of small cars that were in demand because of high gas prices. Those shortages, and higher car prices, turned off many buyers.

Edmunds said supply constraints began to ease for Japanese automakers in July. Sales are forecast at 1.06 million, up 1.6 percent from last July, according to the automotive website.

AIRLINES

Delta to refund taxes for travel during shutdown

ATLANTADelta Air Lines said on Monday it will refund the ticket taxes charged for travel during the Federal Aviation Administration shutdown.

The refunds will apply to people who bought tickets before the FAA shutdown began on July 23 and then traveled during the shutdown. Passengers who bought tickets after the shutdown began didn’t pay the taxes anyway. They paid higher fares instead.

The refunds won’t happen right away. Delta said it is waiting for guidance from the IRS about how to handle that.

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service said airlines could issue direct refunds. Delta is the first to say it will do so. Other airlines have been referring travelers to the IRS for refunds. The IRS has said passengers who can’t get a refund from their airline will eventually be able to submit a claim to the IRS along with proof of taxes paid and travel dates.

RECALL

1.1 million Ford pickups recalled for gas-tank problem

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million pickup trucks because the gas tanks can fall off and cause fires.

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