Barely a day after CEO Mary Barra openly acknowledged her frustration and disappointment with the maker’s many safety woes, General Motors has announced yet another four recalls, albeit relatively small ones compared to the multi-million unit service actions that have been taken in recent months.
In all, about 150,000 vehicles are covered by the four new recalls, though one of them involves just 33 Chevrolet Corvettes because of an internal short-circuit that could disable key passive restraint systems. A second covers 61 Chevrolet Sparks and Buick Encores manufactured in Changwon, Korea, because the front passenger airbag end cap could separate from the airbag inflator causing it to inflate improperly in a crash.
Nonetheless, the latest actions bring to 34 the number of separate recalls announced this year. About 15.9 million vehicles are covered – a full 20 times as many as GM recalled during all of last year.
During a speech and subsequent news conference on Thursday, CEO Barra lamented what was described as “organizational dysfunction” by a new report blasting the company’s handling of safety problems. The study was compiled by former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas, and it focused on GM’s decade-long delay in responding to a faulty ignition switch problem linked to at least 13 deaths.
Barra noted that she expected still more recalls to follow in the “near-term,” and still more are anticipated in the wake of Friday’s four.
The largest of the new recalls involves 69,500 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LD, 2014 GMC Sierra LD and 2015 Silverado HD, Tahoe and Suburban and 2015 GMC Sierra HD and Yukon and Yukon XL models sold worldwide – 57,512 of them in the U.S.
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The problem is with the base radio, according to the automaker. It may not work, thus eliminating audible warnings if the key is in the ignition when the door is open or if the seat belt is not buckled. If this is the case, then the vehicles are not in compliance with “motor vehicle safety standards covering theft protection, rollaway protection and occupant crash protection. Dealers will reprogram the radio control module free of charge.” GM said it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the recall.
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The maker is also recalling 36,012 model year 2012 Buick Verano and Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic compact cars because the airbags may not work. In this case, the shorting bar inside the dual stage driver’s air bag may occasionally contact the airbag terminals. If contact occurs, the air bag warning light will turn on.
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If the car and terminals are contacting each other in a crash, the air bag will not deploy. Dealers will replace the steering wheel air bag coil, eliminating contact any between the shorting bar and the airbag terminals. This is an expanded recall as GM recalled 7,000 vehicles for this problem before.
GM is aware of one crash with an injury where the relevant diagnostic trouble code was found at the time the vehicle was repaired. GM said it is aware of other crashes where air bags did not deploy but it is not known if they were related to this condition.
Michael Strong contributed to this report.