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Roundup: VW recalls 680,000 vehicles with suspect air bag inflators; Burger King's next menu item: Hot dog; more

| Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, 11:00 p.m.
This Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, photo shows Burger King 'chili cheese' hot dogs at a media event in New York to introduce the restaurant's new menu item. Burger King plans to start selling the hot dogs in its U.S. restaurants on Feb. 23.
This Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, photo shows Burger King 'chili cheese' hot dogs at a media event in New York to introduce the restaurant's new menu item. Burger King plans to start selling the hot dogs in its U.S. restaurants on Feb. 23.

VW recalls 680K vehicles because of air bag inflators

Automaker Volkswagen says it is recalling 680,000 vehicles with suspect air bag inflators in the United States.

Volkswagen says it has notified the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the upcoming action involving VW vehicles from model years 2006 to 2014 and that it plans to notify the owners of all affected vehicles.

Volkswagen said in a statement Wednesday that it had been notified by the agency that some drivers' side air bag inflators in Volkswagen vehicles could be defective.

Millions of cars have been recalled worldwide over air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata that have shot metal fragments into vehicle occupants.

Burger King to offer hot dogs

Burger King is looking for a new crown: Hot Dog King.

The Miami-based chain said it plans to put hot dogs on its menu nationally for the first time starting Feb. 23. It may seem like a jarring addition for those who know the chain for its Whoppers. But Burger King said its ability to flame-grill meat makes hot dogs a natural fit on its menu.

With the launch, Burger King said it will offer hot dogs at all 7,100 of its U.S. restaurants — more locations than any other chain. Smaller chains that sell hot dogs include Dairy Queen and Sonic Drive-In.

Burger King has been working to boost sales amid intensifying competition, with McDonald's offering breakfast items all day to spark a turnaround and Wendy's offering a “4 for $4” deal to get customers in the door.

In 2014, Burger King's sales rose 2.1 percent at established locations in the United States and Canada. Parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. is scheduled to report results for 2015 next week.

Staples acquisition of Office Depot gets EU approval

Staples has received European approval for its buyout of Office Depot, and in exchange, it said Wednesday that it would split off some operations in Europe to allay monopoly fears.

The company will divest all of Office Depot's operations in Sweden, as well as European retail, contract, online and catalog operations in an agreement with the European Commission.

But the $6.3 billion deal still needs approval in Canada and at home in the United States, which is far from assured.

U.S. regulators in December rejected Staples' offer to sell $1.25 billion in contracts to work around anti-trust issues. The Federal Trade Commission believes that the combination of the last two major office supply retailers would throttle competition and allow the new company to dictate the price of supplies.

Other business news

• Wabtec Corp. said it plans to spend $350 million to buy back its stock as the Wilmerding-based rail products supplier tries to boost shareholder value. The company said there is no time limit for it to complete the repurchases. During 2015, Wabtec spent $388 million on share buybacks.

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