Business briefly: Toyota says most recalled vehicles fixed

Toyota has repaired most of the 5.6 million cars and trucks it has recalled in the U.S. for flaws that could trigger unwanted acceleration, citing progress in rebuilding its reputation for safety. The automaker has been working to improve quality controls as it deals with sliding market share following its massive recalls. The world’s largest automaker said in a report Monday that it had aggressively responded to safety problems. Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide over the last year for a wide range of problems, including some that have nothing to do with unwanted acceleration. The government has received about 3,000 complaints about sudden acceleration and estimated the problem could be involved in the deaths of 93 people over the last decade.

Gottschalks relaunch delayed until spring

Plans to resurrect the Gottschalks department store chain are being postponed from next month until spring, the new company’s chairman says. Joe Levy, a former chief executive of the now-defunct regional retailer and the great-nephew of its founder, said Friday it’s been harder to line up financing than he anticipated. Levy said he now intends to open three or four Gottschalks by Joe Levy stores in the spring 2011, with shopping centers in Clovis, Oakhurst, Auburn and Carson City, Nev., being eyed as locations. Before the bankruptcy, Gottschalks had 58 stores, including several in Washington state.

Twitter co-founder steps down as CEO

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is stepping aside as the short-messaging service’s CEO. He will turn the job over to Dick Costolo, who has been steering Twitter’s operations for the past year. The privately held company announced the change in command Monday. Costolo joined the company as chief operating officer a year ago to help manage Twitter’s rapid growth. Since then, Twitter has moved into a larger headquarters in San Francisco as its payroll swelled from a few dozen workers to 300 employees. Williams will remain at Twitter and focus on developing new products.

GM pays out $1.3M in stock to executives

General Motors Co. handed out stock shares worth more than $1.3 million to current and former chief executives in the third quarter under terms of their pay packages. The automaker said Monday in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that former CEO Ed Whitacre got more than 16,300 shares worth over $883,000 on Sept. 30. Current CEO Daniel Akerson received nearly 8,200 shares worth over $441,000. GM has said that Akerson will get a $9 million pay package. GM is 61 percent owned by the U.S. government, holding shares that were granted in exchange for about $50 billion in bailout money to get it through bankruptcy protection. The company has repaid $6.7 billion, and the government hopes to get the remaining $43 billion back by selling GM stock.

From Herald news services