Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.
Samsung is in talks with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after a lawsuit against the South Korean company over “exploding” washing machines.
The CPSC warned of problems with some of Samsung’s top-load machines.
It comes as a US law firm filed a suit against the tech giant, saying the fault can lead to injury or damage.
Models sold outside North America are not affected by this issue, a spokesperson said.
The problems follow Samsung’s global recall of its Note 7 smartphone over “exploding” batteries.
Both Samsung and the CPSC said that certain top-loading washing machines from March 2011 to April 2016 were affected.
In a statement, the company said: “In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items.”
Samsung advises consumers with affected models to use the lower-speed delicate cycle when washing those materials.
The company does not name the models, but allows customers to enter the serial number to see whether their machine is among those affected.
Samsung also faces a suit from a US law firm which alleges that some of its “top-loading washing machines explode in owners’ homes,” leading to potential injury or damage, according to attorney Jason Lichtman.
“Users have reported Samsung top-load washers exploding as early as the day of installation, while other owners have seen their machines explode months or even more than a year after purchase,” the firm said in a statement.
The faulty washing machines come right as Samsung is in the midst of a global recall of its flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung was forced to urge 2.5 million phones to be returned because of faulty batteries causing some phones to catch fire and users reporting “exploding devices”.
The tech giant said on September 29 it would start selling new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in South Korea this week.
The revamped smartphone will start being sold in other markets, including some European countries, on October 28.
A Samsung spokeswoman said: “We would like to reassure everyone that new Note 7 phones are operating properly and pose no safety concerns.”
Ex-IMF chief Rodrigo Rato and 64 other bankers have gone on trial in Madrid over an alleged credit card racket at Spain’s troubled Bankia bank.
The defendants allegedly used “unofficial” company credit cards for luxury purchases, unconnected with their duties as board members.
Prosecutors say about €12 million ($13.5 million) was spent on hotels, fine clothes, entertainment and travel.
Rodrigo Rato denies wrongdoing. Bankia was rescued in 2012 at huge public expense.
Image source Wikipedia
The unofficial credit card purchases were not declared to the tax authorities. The system allegedly started at Caja Madrid bank and was continued by Rodrigo Rato when Bankia was created in 2011.
A member of the governing center-right Popular Party (PP), Rodrigo Rato resigned as head of Bankia shortly before its near-collapse in 2012.
The government bailout of Bankia inflicted losses on 200,000 small investors, who held preferential shares in the bank.
Some of them voiced their anger outside the Madrid courthouse on September 26.
“You wretches! Stealing money from pensioners!” they shouted at the accused as the trial got under way.
Prosecutors are seeking four-and-a-half years in jail for Rodrigo Rato and six years for Miguel Blesa, the former president of Caja Madrid, a bank that was merged with six others in 2011 to create Bankia.
If found guilty, Rodrigo Rato could also face a €2.7 million fine, while Miguel Blesa could face a fine of €9.3 million.
Rodrigo Rato headed the IMF from 2004 to 2007. He also served as Spanish economy minister, and his fall from grace helped fuel accusations that the Popular Party was riddled with corruption.
Prosecutors say the lavish credit card purchases took place from 2003 to 2012 – some of them during Spain’s financial crisis, when millions of citizens suffered hardship and unemployment soared.
Rodrigo Rato’s two successors at the top of the IMF have also been caught up in high-profile court cases.
French Socialist Dominique Strauss-Khan took over from Rodrigo Rato in 2007 but resigned in May 2011 to defend himself against charges of attempted rape in New York. Prosecutors dropped the charges later that year, then DSK reached an out-of-court settlement with the hotel maid who accused him.
DSK’s successor at the IMF, Christine Lagarde, is to go on trial in France in December over a state award of €285 million in damages to tycoon Bernard Tapie when she was finance minister.
Christine Lagarde is accused of “negligence”, but denies any misconduct.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer has died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the age of 87.
He was viewed as one of the greatest players in golf’s history.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Arnold Palmer died at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he was undergoing heart tests.
The United States Golf Association also confirmed Arnold Palmer’s death in a tweet calling him “golf’s greatest ambassador”.
During a long career Arnold Palmer won more than 90 tournaments worldwide, including seven majors.
Image source Flickr
Arnold Palmer attracted thousands of diehard fans known as “Arnie’s Army” and helped to promote the game into the television age.
“Today marks the passing of an era,” said Alastair Johnston, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises.
“Arnold Palmer’s influence, profile and achievements spread far beyond the game of golf. He was an iconic American who treated people with respect and warmth, and built a unique legacy through his ability to engage with fans.”
Tributes to the sporting legend flooded in from the world of golf.
President Barack Obama tweeted a picture of himself with Arnold Palmer at the White House, adding: “Here’s to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold.”
Arnold Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1929, the son of a groundskeeper at the local country club who later became the professional at the golf club there.
He was one of golf’s most dominant players in the late 1950s and early 1960s, winning seven major titles over seven seasons.
Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has died in a boat crash at the age of 24.
According, the US Coast Guard Jose Fernandez was one of three people killed in the crash on September 25, off Miami Beach, Florida.
The baseball team said it was “devastated”. Marlins’s home game against the Atlanta Braves on September 25 was canceled.
Jose Fernandez was born in Santa Clara, in Cuba, and defected to Florida when he was 16, after three failed attempts. He made his debut for the Marlins in 2013.
Image source Wikipedia
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Todd Garofalo told local news station WSVN: “They found a boat that was up against the jetties. They did do an initial search and they found three victims – two on top of the water, one underneath the boat and they had unfortunately passed away.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the 32-foot vessel had a “severe impact” with large rocks that form part of the jetty.
According to officials, Jose Fernandez was not wearing a life vest at the time of the crash.
The names of the other two individuals are being withheld until their relatives can be informed, the Coast Guard said.
Jose Fernandez shared a picture on Instagram five days ago which appears to show his girlfriend Carla Mendoza pregnant.
The caption reads: “I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst.”
The Major League Baseball organization released a statement saying it was “stunned and devastated” by the news.
Jose Fernandez was the club’s first-round draft pick in 2011 and was finishing up on his finest season in the major league, the Miami Herald reported.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has confirmed that a Russian cyber espionage group operator by the name of Tsar Team (APT28), also known as Fancy Bear, illegally gained access to its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) database via an International Olympic Committee (IOC)-created account for the Rio 2016 Games.
The hacker group leaked confidential medical files of star US Olympic athletes, including tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and teenage gymnast Simone Biles.
Fancy Bears claimed responsibility for the hack of a WADA database.
After the leak, Simone Biles said she had long been taking medicine for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
The hacker group had accused her of taking an “illicit psycho-stimulant”, but Simone Biles said she had “always followed the rules”.
The Rio Olympics quadruple gold medalist had obtained the necessary permission to take prescription medicine on the WADA banned drugs list, USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
In a statement on the agency’s official website, WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “WADA deeply regrets this situation and is very conscious of the threat that it represents to athletes whose confidential information has been divulged through this criminal act.”
“We are reaching out to stakeholders, such as the IOC, IFs and NADOs, regarding the specific athletes impacted,” he continued.
WADA said that the cyber attacks were an attempt to undermine the global anti-doping system.
Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “out of the question” that the Kremlin or secret services were involved in the hacking, Russian news agencies reported.
The hackers accessed records detailing “Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUEs), which allow the use of banned substances due to athletes’ verified medical needs.
“By virtue of the TUE, Biles has not broken any drug-testing regulations, including at the Olympic Games in Rio,” USA Gymnastics said.
Fancy Bears said TUEs amount to “licenses for doping”.
The leaked documents allege that Serena Williams was granted permission to use drugs commonly used to treat muscle injuries, such as anti-inflammatories, while Simone Biles is said to use Ritalin – a treatment for her ADHD.
Former – Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority head Richard Ings said: “Nothing I see here gives me cause for alarm,” adding it looked “totally normal”.
“The issue here is privacy breach.”
Russia’s track and field team were banned from the Rio Olympics over an alleged state-backed doping program. All Russian athletes are barred from the ongoing Paralympics.
“Let it be known that these criminal acts are greatly compromising the effort by the global anti-doping community to re-establish trust in Russia,” Olivier Niggli said.
US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart called the hack “cowardly and despicable”.
“In each of the situations, the athlete has done everything right in adhering to the global rules for obtaining permission to use a needed medication,” he said.
The US Olympic Committee has had “zero adverse findings from the Rio Olympic Games that weren’t 100% within the medical guidelines set forth by anti-doping authorities,” spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.
Earlier this month, Olivier Niggli said WADA was experiencing almost daily cyber attacks originating from Russia.
Fancy Bears has pledged to release confidential records from other national Olympic teams.
Several NFL players have joined Colin Kaepernick in protesting about racial inequality on the NFL’s opening weekend, which also marked the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem at the start of each game in pre-season has divided opinion.
While many have backed Colin Kaepernick, others say he is disrespecting the American flag.
However, several players raised fists or knelt to support Colin Kaepernick’s aim to highlight oppression of black people.
Four Miami Dolphins players – Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills – knelt as the Star Spangled Banner played. Their opponents, the Seattle Seahawks, locked arms as they stood.
Kansas City Chiefs players also locked arms to show unity while the player at the end of their line, Marcus Peters, raised a black-gloved fist – a gesture reminiscent of US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos as they stood on the podium following their 200m final at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
“It was our goal to be unified as a team and to be respectful of everyone’s opinions, and the remembrance of 9/11.
“It’s our job as professional athletes to make a positive impact on our communities and to be proactive when change is needed,” a statement from the Chiefs players after the game said.
Miami Dolphins player Jelani Jenkins said: “I chose to get involved to see if I could create change, raise awareness.
“I want to make it clear that there is no disrespect to the military or to police officers – I’m not about that.
“I would like to keep moving forward in the right direction with everybody: equal rights, equal opportunity. From my position, it doesn’t seem that it’s happening. That’s why I took a stand.”
Seattle Seahawks players and staff had been in talks before their game to discuss how best to show support, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin said they wanted to meet with the mayor of Seattle and local law enforcement.
“We know that there has to be change and progress, but you got to apply direction to change,” he said.
In the late game, New England Patriots’ Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty both held up their right arms, while team-mate Danny Amendola was seen to grab the unfurled American flag on the field during the anthem.
In September 8 season-opener between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall knelt during the national anthem.
Colin Kaepernick’s team plays the Los Angeles Rams on September 12.
Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million for illegally opening accounts to boost sales targets.
The cash will go to regulators while Wells Fargo will also hand back $5 million to customers.
The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CSFB) accused the US’ biggest bank of “widespread illegal practice” around account openings, sales targets and compensation incentives.
Wells Fargo said in a statement: “We regret instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request.”
Image source Wikipedia
The CSFB announced the fine and said Wells Fargo must also hire an independent consultant for a review.
“Because of the severity of these violations, Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed,” said CSFB first director Richard Cordray.
The CSFB investigation found that to meet sales targets and possibly gain more compensation bank workers had “illegally” signed up customers for more than 2 million deposit and credit-card accounts.
Employees also issued debit cards without customers’ knowledge, even creating fake email addresses to unknowingly sign up consumers to online-banking services, the CSFB said.
Wells Fargo said it set up an independent review of its sales practices dating back to 2011 and had taken “disciplinary actions, including terminations of managers and team members who acted counter to our values”.
Liberty Media is buying the racing business Formula 1 for $4.4 billion, the company has confirmed.
The announcement ends years of speculation about the ownership of Formula 1.
Bernie Ecclestone will remain as chief executive but Chase Carey, vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox, will become the new chairman.
Liberty Media has also stakes in several sports and entertainment businesses, including the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball club.
Owned by the billionaire John Malone, Liberty Media will initially purchase a minority stake in the world’s leading motor-racing championship. A full takeover is planned if regulators approve the deal.
The total transaction values the firm at $8 billion but includes $4.1 billion worth of F1’s debt.
Liberty Media is buying the stake from the private equity firm CVC Capital.
CVC has held a stake for the past decade but sold some of its holding in 2012.
The private equity firm has been criticized for taking considerable profits from the sport, which has suffered from falling TV ratings in recent years.
“We are excited to become part of Formula 1,” said Greg Maffei, chief executive of Liberty Media.
“We think our long-term perspective and expertise with media and sports assets will allow us to be good stewards of Formula 1 and benefit fans, teams and our shareholders.”
Bernie Ecclestone said: “I would like to welcome Liberty Media and Chase Carey to Formula 1 and I look forward to working with them.”
Earlier, the 85-year-old British businessman said in an interview with Reuters that he had been asked to stay on for three years and would miss the Singapore Grand Prix on September 18 as he needed be in London for the negotiations.
In a bid to create a global seeds and pesticides giant, Bayer is now offering $65 billion for Monsanto, or $127.50 a share.
The German company said it was in advanced talks with Monsanto, but warned there was no guarantee a deal would result.
Bayer’s initial offer of $122 a share in May was rejected by Monsanto for being “financially inadequate”.
The record all-cash offer valued the American company at $62 billion.
In July, Bayer raised its offer to $125 a share, but was again rebuffed.
Bayer and Monsanto combined would create the world’s biggest agricultural supplier and be a market leader in the US, Europe and Asia.
The German company produces seeds as well as chemicals to combat weeds and insects, but it is better known for its healthcare products such as Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer.
The American company is primarily known for its genetically modified seeds for crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat and sugar cane. Such seeds have attracted criticism from some environmental activists.
The higher offer comes amid a wave of mergers in the agriculture sector.
Rivals including Dow Chemical, DuPont and Syngenta have all announced tie-ups recently, although some have yet to be cleared by regulators.
The drop in commodity prices has put pressure on companies such as Monsanto, with farmers’ cutting orders for supplies.
However, a Bayer takeover of Monsanto could raise US competition concerns because of the sheer size of the combined company and the control it would have over the global seeds and sprays markets.
Farming groups have raised concerns that such mergers could lead to fewer choices and higher prices.
Insiders said that although the two companies were close to reaching an agreement on price, they had yet to agree on a strategy on how to deal with potential regulatory hurdles.
Bayer shares have fallen by close to a fifth this year and ended at €94.24 on September 5, valuing the company at €78 billion.
Monsanto has risen 9% since the start of the year and closed on September 2 at $107.44, making it worth just over $47 billion. Wall Street was closed on September 5 for the Labor Day holiday.
Oil price has climbed by about 3% after Russia and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement to look for ways to stabilize the oil market.
The announcement was made by energy ministers Alexander Novak and Khalid al-Falih.
The price of Brent crude oil rose by $1.28 on the news to $48.11 a barrel.
A statement said the plan was to support the “stability of the oil market… ensuring a stable level of investment in the long term.”
The start of 2016 saw the price of oil fell to its lowest level in nearly 13 years due to a production glut and is still far below the $110 a barrel price recorded just two years ago.
Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said the agreement, which might include attempts to limit oil output, was a “historical moment” between members of OPEC, which is the traditional oil producers’ cartel, and non-members, of which Russia is one.
He said that Russia was willing to join an oil output “freeze”.
His Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih told Al Arabiya TV: “Freezing [production levels] is one of the preferred possibilities but it’s not necessary today.
“The market is getting better and we have noticed that prices reflect this [improvement].”
Strategies to keep prices high by limiting production are usually the preserve of OPEC and are often not successful.
However, Russia and Saudi Arabia are the world’s two largest oil producers.
Alexander Novak and Khalid al-Falih will meet again later this month and again in October and November.
The outline agreement, to set up a joint task force, was publicized at a news conference at the G20 summit taking place in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
The agreement to talk about a deal, despite the lack of detail, was welcomed by two other oil producers.
Kuwait’s acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh: “This dialogue confirms that the main oil producers are watching the oil market… to help achieve stability.”
UAE’s energy minister Suhail al-Mazroui tweeted: “UAE, as an active and responsible member of OPEC will always support any joint efforts which will benefit market stability.”
German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer and three others are being investigated by Swiss prosecutors over Germany’s bid for the 2006 World Cup.
As members of that cup’s organizing committee, they are suspected of fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation, prosecutors say.
Some of the alleged crimes were carried out on Swiss territory.
Franz Beckenbauer, who headed the bid, has previously denied corruption.
FIFA has banned Franz Beckenbauer from all its activities for failing to co-operate with its inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process
In October 2015, he said he had made a “mistake” in the bidding process to host the competition in 2000 but denied votes had been bought.
In March 2016, soccer’s world governing body FIFA began looking into six men for their part in Germany winning the rights to host the 2006 cup.
Premises were searched in eight undisclosed locations on September 1 with the co-operation of the Austrian and German authorities, the prosecutors said.
Franz Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was among the properties searched, according to the AP.
Several suspects were also questioned, the prosecutors added.
Germany beat South Africa 12-11 in the World Cup vote, which took place in July 2000.
The Swiss investigation centers on the use of 7 million euros ($7.8 million), later reduced to 6.7 million euros, earmarked for a gala event.
In a statement, Swiss prosecutors said: “It is suspected that the suspects knew that this sum was not being used to fund the gala event, but instead to repay a debt that was not owed by the DFB.
“In particular, it is suspected that the suspects willfully misled their fellow members of the executive board of the organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup.
“This was presumably done by the use of false pretences or concealment of the truth, thus inducing the other committee members to act in a manner that caused DFB a financial loss.”
No further details were given.
Earlier today, Germany’s Spiegel magazine reported the investigation centered on payments made from 2002 to 2005.
In October 2015, Franz Beckenbauer said he did not give “money to anyone in order to buy votes”.
However, in a statement, he said: “In order to get a subsidy from FIFA [for the organization of the 2006 World Cup] those involved went ahead with a proposal from the FIFA finance commission that in today’s eyes should have been rejected.
“I, as president of the then-organizing committee, bear the responsibility of this mistake.”
Swiss prosecutors named four suspects on September 1:
Franz Beckenbauer: Former vice-president of the German Football Association (DFB), president of the 2006 World Cup local organizing committee (LOC) and former member of the FIFA executive committee
Wolfgang Niersbach: Former president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and current member of the FIFA and UEFA executive committees
Theo Zwanziger: Former president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and former member of the FIFA and UEFA executive committees
Horst Rudolf Schmidt: Former secretary-general of the DFB and vice-president of the LOC
Volkswagen is being sued in Australia for allegedly misleading customers by selling modified vehicles that covered up emissions fraud.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) claims VW intentionally sold more than 57,000 such vehicles over a five-year period.
It is seeking a public declaration of misconduct, financial penalties and corrective advertising.
VW Australia said it is reviewing the ACCC claims.
In a statement, the company said it does not think that the court action “provides any practical benefit to consumers because software solutions for cars affected by the voluntary recall are expected soon”.
Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch said: “The best outcome for customers whose vehicle is affected is to have the voluntary recall service updates installed.”
The ACCC lawsuit covers 10 VW car models including the top-selling Golf, Passat and Polo,
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement: “These allegations involve extraordinary conduct of a serious and deliberate nature by a global corporation.
“We expect higher standards of behavior from all companies that supply to Australian consumers.”
The world’s second-biggest auto maker is also facing several private class action lawsuits in Australia.
VW has suffered a global backlash since revealing last year that around 11 million of its vehicles had software or so-called “defeat devices” designed to bypass official emissions tests.
The company has since had to pay billions of dollars in fines and settlements with both regulators and customers around the world.
According to an European Commission ruling, Ireland should recover up to €13 billion ($14.5 billion) from Apple in back taxes.
After a three-year investigation, the Commission has concluded that Apple’s Irish tax benefits are illegal.
It said Ireland enabled Apple to pay substantially less than other businesses, in effect paying a corporate tax rate of no more than 1%.
Ireland and Apple both said they disagreed with the record penalty and would appeal against it.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules.
“The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.”
The standard rate of Irish corporate tax is 12.5%. The European Commission’s investigation concluded that Apple had effectively paid 1% tax on its European profits in 2003 and about 0.005% in 2014.
Margrethe Vestager said that the tax agreement reached between Ireland and Apple meant that the company’s taxable profits “did not correspond to economic reality”.
Apple said the decision would be harmful for jobs.
The company said in a statement: “The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process.”
“The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it’s about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.
“Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned.”
The Irish government held a similar view with finance minister Michael Noonan saying in a statement: “I disagree profoundly with the Commission.
“The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”
The US Treasury, which said last week that the European Commission was in danger of becoming a “supranational tax authority”, said the latest ruling could “undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the US and the EU”.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has announced the electric car maker is launching a new battery pack for the performance versions of its Model S and X cars that will extend the range and mean faster acceleration.
Elon Musk hailed the upgraded charger as a “profound milestone”.
The battery cell chemistry is the same, but the reconfigured product stored more energy in the same space, he said.
Tesla, which this month posted a steeper-than-expected loss, is adding a new sedan car to its sports line-up.
Elon Musk claimed that the new 100-kilowatt hour battery pack means high-end versions of the Model S sedan, called the P100D, will be the world’s fastest accelerating car in production.
The P100D will do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. Elon Musk said there were faster cars on the market, but these were limited-run vehicles, while the Tesla is aimed at the mass market, he said.
“These are very profound milestones and I think will help convince people around the world that electric is the future,” Elon Musk said on a conference call with journalists.
The new battery extends the range of performance versions of the new Model S well beyond 300 miles, from about 290 miles, Tesla said.
Elon Musk said that in cool weather, a driver could travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles – a nearly 400 mile drive – without recharging.
In May 2016, Tesla said it was stepping up production plans for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market sedan and would build a total of 500,000 all-electric vehicles in 2018, two years ahead of schedule.
The Model S and X vehicles with the upgraded batteries will help fund the more affordable Model 3 still in development, Elon Musk said. The performance versions of the S and X without the new battery currently start at $108,000 and $115,500, respectively.
However, Tesla Motors also warned that investment would ramp up as well.
The company has been under investigation from US safety regulators following a fatal crash in Florida earlier this year involving its drive-assistance feature known as Autopilot.
Elon Musk said a software update of the feature is nearing completion, adding that it will result in “material improvements in the autonomy of the car”.
Speedo, Ralph Lauren and other two sponsors have dropped Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte following Rio Olympics scandal.
They were followed by announcements from skin care company Syneron-Candela and Japanese mattress maker Airweave.
The move comes after Ryan Lochte, 32, lied about being robbed at gunpoint by a policeman after a night out during the Rio Olympics.
Ryan Lochte, a 12-time Olympic gold medalist, has earned millions of dollars through endorsements.
Speedo, the biggest sponsor of the four, said: “We cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for.”
Ryan Lochte said he respected Speedo’s decision, and thanked the company.
“I am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years,” the swimmer said.
Ralph Lauren, which has removed some of Ryan Lochte’s images from its website, said its sponsorship of the swimmer had been only for the Rio Games and would not be renewed.
Airweave and Ralph Lauren both stressed that they would continue their support of the US Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Syneron-Candela said: “We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners.”
Speedo said it would donate a $50,000 portion of Ryan Lochte’s sponsorship fee to the charity Save The Children’s Brazilian operation.
The value of Ryan Lochte’s Speedo sponsorship has not been disclosed. The contract reportedly expires this year after 10 years.
Forbes magazine calculated that in the year of the 2012 London Olympics, Ryan Lochte earned about $2 million in sponsorships from companies such as Gillette, Nissan, AT&T and Gatorade.
Ryan Lochte’s performance at Rio did not reach the heights of his London triumph, but Forbes estimated the athlete’s endorsements would still have been between $1 million-$2 million.
The saga started when Ryan Lochte and three team-mates returned to the Olympic village after a late night out in Rio.
They tried, unsuccessfully, to use the locked toilet at a garage and urinated outside instead.
After first claiming that Ryan Lochte and his three team-mates had been robbed by bogus policemen, Lochte back-tracked and admitted he had, while still drunk, “left details out” and “over-exaggerated some parts of the story”.
Despite the evidence against him, including CCTV footage, he has however denied that he actually lied in his initial account to Brazilian police.
Ryan Lochte’s behavior has been met with disdain in the US and he has been widely pilloried in the US media.
On August 19, the New York Post carried a front-page headline describing him as the “Ugly American”, along with the slogan “Liar, Liar, Speedo on fire”.
Ryan Lochte is one of the most successful swimmers in history, with 12 Olympic medals, and he once had his own reality TV show.
In Rio, Ryan Lochte swam in two events, winning a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay along with team-mate Jack Conger.