Under mounting pressure, General Motors has significantly expanded a recall involving defective ignition switches — now linked to 31 crashes and at least 13 fatalities – affecting a total of nearly 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. alone.
The maker also issued an apology for the problem which critics say it has long known about and failed to respond to in a timely manner.
“Ensuring our customers’ safety is our first order of business,” said GM North America President Alan Batey. “We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can.”
The maker first announced plans to recall nearly 800,000 older compact models about two weeks ago. At the time, GM officials said it knew of 22 separate accidents and six fatalities connected to the problem.