Business Briefs


POSTED: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Suits could cost Toyota $3B-plus

MIAMI » Toyota owners claiming that massive safety recalls are causing the value of their vehicles to plummet have filed at least 89 class-action lawsuits that could cost the Japanese auto giant $3 billion or more, according to an Associated Press review of cases, legal precedent and interviews with experts.

Those estimates do not include potential payouts for wrongful death and injury lawsuits, which could reach in the tens of millions each.

Separately, Don Esmond, Toyota's senior vice president of automotive operation, says the company's North American sales spiked around 50 percent the first eight days of March from the year-ago period as incentives helped lure customers.

Hawaiian Air first with customers

Hawaiian Airlines ranked first in January among 18 domestic carriers for on-time performance, fewest cancellations and fewest misplaced bags, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's monthly Air Travel Consumer Report.

The airline, which has led all U.S. carriers in punctuality for each of the past six years, was first in on-time performance in January with 86.7 percent of its flights arriving on schedule. Nationwide, airlines averaged a 78.7 percent on-time arrival rate.

Hawaiian also had only four cancellations, or 0.1 percent, in January out of 5,734 flights, and it had an industry-low 1.96 mishandled-baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers served.

2 Hawaii hotels make Orbitz list

Hawaii's Outrigger Reef on the Beach and the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui made online travel portal Orbitz Worldwide's 2010 “;Best in Stay”; list, based on reviews by users.

Hotels were rated on a scale of up to 5 points. Both Hawaii properties earned 4.5 points from Orbitz users, who rated them based on service, amenities, comfort, location and value.

The highest-rated properties, Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix and the Langham in Boston, earned 4.8 points each.

Royal Hawaiian gets marketing honor

The International Council of Shopping Centers has presented Waikiki's Royal Hawaiian Center with a silver U.S. MAXI Award.

The competition includes 10 overall categories and presents awards in subcategories, usually dependent upon a retail center's square footage. The “;Royal Hawaiian Center Advertising Campaign”; entry was honored in the advertising category for centers between 200,000 square feet and 499,999 square feet.



Auntie Pasto's Restaurants has promoted Karina Carvajal to general manager. She has 28 years of experience as general manager of Kahului Ale House, manager of Roy's Kihei, manager of Antler's Lodge, food and beverage director for a Sheraton property in San Antonio and manager of multiple outlets at Royal Lahaina Resort and held various positions at Grand Wailea Resort.


N&K CPAs has promoted Jie Li and Jenny Yeung to audit managers from audit supervisors; Heeyeon Kim and Lai Ieng Yee to tax supervisors from tax seniors; Cheri Lyn Yoshioka, Cheryl Ng and Jessica Fernandez to tax seniors from team members; and Shane Sakae to audit senior from team member.


Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has announced Elise Lee has been designated as a previews property specialist. She has been in real estate since 2003 and also specializes in home staging, feng shui and interior design.


Apartment3 Lounge & Restaurant has appointed Robert McGee as executive chef. His experience includes working at Higgins Restaurant; the Slowbar in Portland, Ore.; Deschutes Brewpub in Portland; and as sous-chef for a Pan Asian restaurant.