Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based at the network's Chicago bureau. He is also editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.
LeBeau has reported one-hour documentaries for the network, including "Dreamliner: Inside the World's Most Anticipated Airplane," "Ford: Rebuilding an American Icon" and "Saving General Motors" and "Failure to Recall: Investigating GM."
Prior to joining CNBC, LeBeau served as a media relations specialist for Van Kampen Funds in Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., and was instrumental in implementing an initiative to communicate the company's mutual fund and investment practices to the public and the press. While at Van Kampen, LeBeau held a Series 6 license.
Previously, he held general assignment reporting positions at KCNC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Denver, and KAKE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Wichita, Kan. LeBeau began his career as a field producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, where he wrote, produced and researched consumer stories. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism with a bachelor's degree in journalism and broadcasting.
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The message from the Secretary of Transportation is clear: If he could, he would fine Toyota more than the proposed $16.4 million the Feds are seeking for the automaker failing to alert the government quickly enough about defective gas pedals.
As I was reporting the announcement of the Department of Transportation's fine against Toyota of $16.4 million, I kept thinking of the star athlete who makes gobs of money and is fined by the commissioner of the league for breaking a rule.
With Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announcing two broad investigations into unintended acceleration in Toyotas spacer and whether electronics play a role in all makes and models having potential problems with vehicles suddenly speeding up, the hysteria surrounding this issue should lessen.
Audi plans to increase spending on new models and plants to around $29 billion through 2019, stepping up competitions with BMW.
Not only are the retro-looking travel-trailers still being built by hand, but the company also can't keep up with demand.
The Tesla Roadster is getting a battery upgrade that will allow it to drive several hundred miles without recharging.
High-cost, short-term car title loans are leading people to take out risky lines of credit.
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