Bolts & Nuts buys Technical Threads

Bolts & Nuts Corp., a nationwide industrial distribution firm in Chattanooga, has acquired Technical Threads in Franklin, Indiana.

Technical Threads operates from facilities in Indiana and South Carolina and is a leading provider of highly engineered pipe, valve and fitting fasteners and gaskets sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Currently, Bolts & Nuts serves customers in over 40 states, Mexico and Europe.

"We are excited to welcome Adam Howell and Matt Simon and the Technical Threads team, who will continue to run this important business serving their unique customer base to become a part of the Bolts & Nuts Corp. family," said Mike Strunk, CEO of Bolts & Nuts Corp. "We are eager to broaden our reach for our customers, supporting economic development, job creation and contribution to the communities of Indiana and the Carolinas."

Bolts & Nuts already operates facilities in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Illinois and sells fasteners and others parts in 40 states.


Ford Escapes probed for overheating woes

that overheated Ethat some Ford Escapes overheat, stall

Federal safety investigators are looking into complaints that engines on some Ford Escape vehicles can overheat and suddenly stall while being driven.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted on its website Friday that it has 40 complaints from consumers about stalling, including two alleging that the engines caught fire.

The investigation covers about 127,000 Escape small SUVs in the U.S. from the 2013 model year that have 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines.

Investigators will determine the cause of the engine stalling, how often the problem happens, which vehicles are affected and whether a recall is warranted.

Ford said in a statement Friday that it is cooperating with the investigation as it always does.

In one of the complaints involving a fire, an Escape owner in Dozier, Alabama, reported that on June 6, the engine stalled while being driven, and the SUV coasted to a gas station, where it caught fire. There were no injuries.

Last year, Ford recalled more than 200,000 vehicles with the same-size engines because they can overheat and catch fire. But the 2013 Escape was not included.

Covered by the recall in North America are Escapes from the 2014 model year, plus the 2014 and 2015 compact Fiesta ST, the 2013 and 2014 Fusion midsize car and the 2013 through 2015 Transit Connect small van. Ford also conducted similar recalls in Europe and China.

Late last year, Ford said in documents that it will repair any coolant leaks that might be found in the 200,000 recalled vehicles.


Japan says tariffs will cost U.S. jobs

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned the U.S. on Friday that higher tariffs on auto imports would backfire and harm not only America's jobs and economy but also devastate the global economy.

Abe told a news conference marking the end of a Diet session that Japan's auto and auto parts industry has never threatened America's national security and it never will. Abe said he will keep explaining that to Trump.

Trump has ordered the U.S. government to investigate if higher tariffs on foreign-made vehicles and auto parts are justified on national security grounds.

Japan's auto industry has for decades invested billions of dollars in U.S. plants that employ hundreds of thousands of workers. Japanese automakers produce twice as many vehicles in the U.S. as they export from Japan, Abe said.

"Japan provides good jobs and contributes greatly to America's economy," Abe said. "If restriction measures were imposed, such employment will be lost, and not only will it have a negative impact on the U.S. economy but also cause tremendous damage to the world economy."

Up to 624,000 people could lose their jobs in the U.S. if a 25 percent tariff was levied on automobiles and auto parts and other countries retaliated.


Bayer stops sales of birth control device

The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions by regulators said Friday that it will stop selling the device in the U.S., the only country where it remains available.

Bayer said the safety of its Essure implant has not changed, but it will stop selling the device at the end of the year due to weak sales. The German company had billed the device as the only non-surgery sterilization method for women. As complaints mounted and demand slipped, it stopped Essure sales in Canada, Europe, South America, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed multiple restrictions on the device following patient reports of pain, bleeding, allergic reactions and cases where the implant punctured the uterus or shifted out of place.

In May, the FDA said doctors must show women a checklist of the device's risks before implanting it. More than 16,000 U.S. women are suing Bayer over Essure.

Bayer received FDA approval to sell Essure in 2002 and promoted it as a quick and easy permanent solution to unplanned pregnancies. Essure consists of two thin-as-spaghetti nickel-titanium coils inserted into the fallopian tubes, where they spur the growth of scar tissue that blocks sperm from fertilizing a woman's eggs.

Because of the reported complaints, the FDA added its most serious warning to the device in 2016 and ordered the company to conduct a 2,000-patient study.