Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk reporter based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. Glinton has traveled throughout the Midwest covering important stories such as the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and the 2012 presidential race. He has also covered the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. During that time he produced interviews with everyone from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Joan Rivers. The highlight for Glinton came when he produced Robert Siegel's 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at member station WBEZ in Chicago. He went on to produce and report for WBEZ. While in Chicago he focused on juvenile justice and the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Prior to journalism Glinton had a career in finance.

Glinton attended Boston University.

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Business
2:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Feds Slap GM With $35 Million Penalty For Safety Law Violations

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The federal government is hitting General Motors with its maximum fine for delays in an auto recall, $35 million. It's a response to GM's recall of cars with faulty ignition switches, a defect that's been linked to 13 deaths.

And as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, today's agreement with the Department of Transportation won't close the books on the problem.

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Business
4:51 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Bank Of America Agrees To Refunds And Fines In Credit Card Case

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Not so good news for another bank. Bank of America, which is on the hook for nearly $800 million in fines and refunds. That's to settle allegations from credit card holders, of deceptive marketing and unfair billing. Regulators say nearly three million credit card holders were affected. The settlement is a major victory for a young federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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News
2:45 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Toyota Pulls Over 6 Million Vehicles Worldwide

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another major auto recall today, this time it's Toyota. The Japanese auto giant is recalling 6.4 million vehicles worldwide for a variety of defects, including problems with seat rails and airbags. No injuries have been reported. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports this particular recall is not happening in a vacuum.

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Business
1:42 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Just How New Is The 'New' GM?

CEO Mary Barra told Congress that she sits at the helm of the new GM. Is the company new and improved? The answer is complicated.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 7:34 am

During her grilling before Congress last week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra insisted the new General Motors is different and better than the old one.

So as GM begins to fix nearly 2.6 million vehicles for an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to at least 13 deaths, we decided to put that claim to the test.

Exactly how new is the new GM?

NBC's Saturday Night Live answered with a parody version of Barra's explanation:

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Politics
3:17 am
Wed April 2, 2014

GM CEO Pressed On Handling Of Ignition Switch Defect

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

There was only one thing the new head of General Motors could really say about its recall of defective vehicles. The recall was a decade in coming, and the defect has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Mary Barra faced questions about it yesterday before Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONGRESSIONAL HEARING)

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Business
3:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Long Road To GM's Ignition Switch Recall

Chevy Cobalts on the assembly line in Ohio in 2008. Documents show General Motors was aware of problems with the car's ignition switch years before, but failed to act.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:08 am

The new head of General Motors, Mary Barra, goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin two days of testimony.

It's the first time she'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6 million-vehicle recall.

At issue for the Detroit CEO is a classic question: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switch problems in its cars, and when did the company know it?

And just as important for GM and government regulators is the follow-up question: Why did no one act sooner?

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Business
2:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

As Carmakers Turn Up The Recalls, Consumers Tune Out

The number of vehicles recalled has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:02 pm

In the past week, Volkswagen recalled 150,000 Passats because of potential hood problems that could damage the headlights, and Honda recalled 900,000 Odyssey vans because of a potential fire hazard.

Those moves follow the recent General Motors recall of 1.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to 12 deaths. It took the company nearly a decade to inform the public of the problem.

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News
2:27 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota's $1.2B Settlement Puts Criminal Probe To Rest

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:59 pm

Toyota will pay $1.2 billion to end a federal criminal probe into a vehicle recall. Federal regulators said five people died in accidents related to unintended acceleration prior to the recall.

Business
3:03 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Ignition Switch Recall Straddles Old And New GM

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

General Motors is at the center of several investigations involving last month's recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The recall comes at a pivotal time for the company.

Business
4:04 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt General Motors

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Both houses of Congress are set to investigate, and the Justice Department is reportedly looking into why it took GM so long to inform the public. GM may have known about the problem for a decade.

Business
3:39 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt GM As It Continues Its Makeover

The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the GM models being recalled for faulty ignition switches.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

General Motors is coming under mounting criticism for its handling of a serious defect. Last month, the company recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. The cars, made from 2003-2007, could stall or fail to deploy their airbags.

It's an issue GM has known about for a while, and now Congress wants to know why it took the automaker almost a decade to warn the public about it.

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The Salt
3:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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Sports
4:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Hometown Hero Triumphs In Women's Figure Skating

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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The Edge
4:02 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Female Figure Skaters Compete For Gold — And The Sport's Future

Yuna Kim, of South Korea, won gold in Vancouver. She's leading the field after Wednesday's short program.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:55 pm

If there is such a thing as a home rink advantage, that makes the competition in the women's figure skating program fierce. Russian fans erupted with glee for Adelina Sotnikova on Wednesday. And then there's Yulia Lipnitskaya, a 15-year-old Russian phenom who has thrilled Russian fans and stunned the figure skating world.

Scott Hamilton, a 1984 figure skating gold medalist, has been watching Lipnitskaya closely.

"She's beyond her years. Like, you look at her and she qualified [to be age-eligible] for the Olympics by days," he says.

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Sports
3:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

U.S. Struggles To Find Skating Groove In Sochi

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 7:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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The Edge
3:49 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In Men's Figure Skating, U.S. Pins Hopes On A New Class

Jason Brown skated to Prince during his short program Thursday.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:58 pm

What's the hardest sport at the Winter Games — biathlon, aerial skiing, snowboarding, or high-flying slopestyle?

Jeremy Abbott thought it was one of those until an Olympic official told him otherwise. "Hands down," he was told, "absolutely, figure skating is the hardest."

Abbott may not completely agree, but he says it's the rare affirmation he's gotten as a male figure skater.

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Sports
2:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

American Speedskaters Leave Ice Disappointed

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:00 pm

U.S. speedskating took a big hit in Sochi today, coming out of the 1,000-meter competition with no medals. The team's highest rank was eighth, earned by Shani Davis, who has dominated this race in the past.

The Edge
6:56 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Germany's Hoefl-Riesch Wins Women's Super-Combined Skiing

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch during the slalom run of the women's alpine skiing super-combined event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Stefano Rellandini Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 9:47 am

As always, if you're among those who don't want to know who's won what until NBC-TV's primetime show is on the air, stop reading now. For those who do like to know what's happening, here's a quick look at the medals already awarded today and some of what's coming later on:

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The Edge
6:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Speedskaters Get A Little Help From Their Friends

From left: U.S. Speedskaters Kelly Gunther, Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Sugar Todd are aiming for Olympic glory in Sochi, Russia.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:15 pm

Speedskating is the U.S.'s most successful winter Olympic Sport. In Sochi this year, great things are expected again.

The secret to their success includes talent, skill and hard work, but there's also a network of support that buoys the team.

Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis is looking to win a history-making third: He would be the first speedskater to win the same event in three different Olympics.

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The Edge
1:23 am
Fri February 7, 2014

In Team Event, Figure Skating Rivals Cheer For Each Other

Marissa Castelli (front center) and Simon Shnapir (front right) of the U.S. wait for their scores in the pairs short program Thursday in Sochi. With them are coach Robert Martin and teammates (back, from left) Jeremy Abbott, Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
Darren Cummings/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:26 am

There's always a lot of drama in figure skating, and not necessarily on the ice. There's the judging and the personalities — think Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

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Code Switch
7:43 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Can The Auto Industry Win The Future If It Looks Like 1974?

Incoming General Motors CEO Mary Barra at the center of the press scrum during the North American International Auto Show.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:33 pm

So my week at the North American International Auto Show is wrapping up. It's my fourth Detroit Auto Show. And boy has it come a long way.

There is a vibrancy and spirit this year that's different than other shows. There's also been a lot more money spent. The tenor of the show is very different than when the federal government had an ownership stake in Chrysler and General Motors.

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Business
1:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Detroit Touts Clean, Efficient Diesels, But America Isn't Sold

Automakers like GM, Chrysler and Volkswagen are introducing new, cleaner diesel passenger cars to the U.S. market as fuel-efficient alternatives.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:07 pm

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, it's not all hybrids and battery-powered cars. Some car companies are making significant investments in a fuel that's not new at all — diesel.

The newest diesel engines are far cleaner than their predecessors, and they get many more miles per gallon. The question is, what's holding customers back from switching gas pumps?

When you look around the auto show, there's a lot of energy and there's a lot of money being spent again. The one topic that keeps coming up, of course, is fuel economy.

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Business
4:23 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Ford Unveils F-150 With Aluminum Body

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Ah, the North American International Auto Show begins this week begins this week in Detroit. At least 50 new car models will make their debuts. Ford Motors is unveiling its highly anticipated makeover of the F-150 with a body made in part of aluminum - an aluminum truck.

Recent advances have made aluminum, which is lighter than steel, of course, viable on a large scale for manufacturing.

One of our favorite correspondents, NPR's Sonari Glinton, reports on what that means for the car industry.

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Business
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Ford's New F-150 May Pave The Way For More Aluminum Cars

At Detroit's North American International Auto on Monday, Ford unveiled the new F-150 with a body built almost entirely out of aluminum.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

The North American International Auto show begins this week in Detroit, a preview of the most important car technology on the horizon. One of the stars of the show this year is the Ford F-150, a truck that's been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades. And it's by far Ford's most important model.

On Monday, the company unveiled a radically new more fuel-efficient redesign of the F-150 — featuring a lighter-weight aluminum body.

Aluminum's Advantages

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Economy
2:57 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

For Target, Holiday Woes Are Worse Than Expected

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The retail giant Target delivered more bad news today. The company was the victim of a massive security breach before Christmas, and today it announced that that cyber-attack was much worse than originally reported. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains.

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Remembrances
3:42 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Remembering Eydie Gorme, A Vegas Singer Without The Drama

Steve Lawrence (left), Edyie Gorme (center) and Jerry Lewis sing during the MDA Telethon at the Sahara Hotel in 1993.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:52 am

Before turning the page on 2013, All Things Considered wanted to tell you stories you haven't heard — unknown stories about people you've heard of, and unknown people who have affected your lives in ways you can't imagine.

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Business
2:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Anemic Holiday Sales Growth, But Bump In Online, Mobile Buying

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 5:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Retailers are wrapping up a lackluster holiday season. Overall, sales were tepid, but growth exploded online, on mobile devices and with the sale of gift cards. NPR's Sonari Glinton has that story.

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Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Drug Stores Rx For Profits: Offer More Than Prescriptions

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

Earnings are skyrocketing at drug stores — Walgreens alone saw its earnings grow nearly 70 percent in the last quarter. Drug stores no longer handle just prescriptions and selected sundries. Big chains now compete with grocery stores and sandwich shops. Consumers are also shopping there for holiday gifts.

U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
1:15 am
Wed December 25, 2013

What's In Store For Commuting's Future? (Hint: There's Hope)

Imagine if the road ahead includes driverless cars.
Jiha Hwang Illustration from The Car in 2035: Mobility Planning for the Near Future is courtesy of the Civic Projects Foundation

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 5:04 pm

If you want to look into the future of commuting, you need only go to the graduate transportation program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

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Business
3:30 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Target's Troubles Mount After Payment Data Breach

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 5:24 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a legal bullseye on Target.

OK. More than a dozen customers have now filed lawsuits against the retail giant. This is after Target's security was breached and information from nearly 40 million credit and debit cards were stolen.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that the company is in full defense mode.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Target has offered credit monitoring to its consumers. It's taken to every social medium to get out its story. That's while the first lawsuits have begun to poor in.

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