CONSUMER CATCH-UP: MoviePass files for bankruptcy, Mazda3s recalled for 'smart brake' issue, and the Fed keeps interest rates steady

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- MoviePass parent company files for bankruptcy; former subscribers could be owed money

The parent company of the now-defunct MoviePass has declared bankruptcy -- and court filings reveal it may owe its previous subscribers money.

The movie theater subscription app allowed its customers "unlimited" trips to the movies, but began cutting membership benefits as it tried to overcome financial hurdles. It ceased operations in September 2019.

Its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation earlier this week. The company can now be "sold for parts," and the proceeds will go toward paying off their creditors. The company's 174-page list of 12,000 subscribers could be owed $1.2 million -- up to almost $100 each -- for services not rendered.

No word yet on how or when subscribers will be able to make a claim.

Mazda3s recalled for "smart brake" issue

Mazda is recalling over 35,000 2019 - 2020 Mazda3s due to an issue with its "smart brake system."

The vehicles' smart brake system may falsely detect an obstacle that is not there, triggering its automatic braking system and suddenly stopping the car. These unexpected stops can increase the chances of an accident.

Mazda is working to notify owners. If a Mazda owner believes their vehicle is affected, they can contact Mazda customer service at (800) 222-5500. Dealers will update the smart brake software and perform any other necessary updates free of charge.

Fed keeps interest rates steady in face of solid economy, looming coronavirus fears

The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady Wednesday, taking a "wait and see" approach to a solid economy that nonetheless has rising international concerns, including the coronavirus.

After a two-day meeting, the Fed announced it was leaving its benchmark federal funds rate at 1.5% to 1.75%, a historically low range. The Fed cut rates a quarter-percentage point three times last year in response to trade tensions and slow global growth.

"Uncertainties about the outlook remain, including those posed by the new coronavirus," said Fed Chair Jerome Powell at a news conference; the Fed also noted a strong labor market and moderately rising economic activity.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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