After recalling more than 7 million vehicles during the first three months of the year, it seems that GM’s safety woes are far from over, the maker today announcing five separate new service actions covering another 2.7 million passenger cars and light trucks.
The latest batch of recalls includes the 140,000 Chevrolet Malibus TheDetroitBureau.com reported on overnight, but also includes a wide range of recent and older models, from the 2005 Pontiac G6 to the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. Problems range from faulty taillights to tie-rod defects that could cause a loss of control and possible crash.
“We have redoubled our efforts to expedite and resolve current (safety) reviews in process and also have identified and analyzed recent vehicle issues which require action,” said Jeff Boyer, the recently appointed GM global vehicle safety czar. “These are examples of our focus to surface issues quickly and promptly take necessary actions in the best interest of our customers.”
Boyer was appointed to his newly created position in the wake of the maker’s ignition switch recall, a problem linked to at least 13 deaths – and which has triggered a flurry of lawsuits, as well as ongoing investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and others.
Industry analysts have cautioned that, in the wake of hearings by both houses of Congress, automakers, on the whole, have been erring on the side of caution, ordering more recalls than has been the case in recent years. But General Motors’ flood of announcements is all but unprecedented. Only in a burst of activity between late 2009 and 2010 did Toyota rush to recall more vehicles overall due to problems with so-called unintended acceleration.
The largest of the new GM recalls covers 2,440,524 older passenger cars which may have experienced brake light problems – they may light even when the brakes are applied, or not come on when a motorist does press the brakes. The maker blames wiring harness corrosion due to what it describes as “micro-vibration.” The issue also could cause vehicle safety systems, such as traction control and electronic stability control, to malfunction.
The maker says it has received “several hundred complaints,” and has learned of 13 crashes and two injuries – though no fatalities – as a result of the problem. In fact, it had issued a technical service bulletin advising repair shops about the issue back in 2008 and previously recalled “a small population” of 2005 model-year vehicles.
The new recalls could be seen as a shift in the way GM – and other automakers – may handle safety issues going forward, recalling vehicles that might have been repaired on a one-by-one basis in the past.
(Ignition switch victim’s family re-files suit against GM. Click Here for the latest news.)
Covered by the first recall are 2004 to 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, 2004 to 2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx models, 2005 to 2010 Pontiac G6 sedans, and 2007 to 2010 Saturn Aura sedans.
The second-largest recall, which was first revealed in news reports – including one on TheDetroitBureau.com — last night, involves 140,067 Chevrolet Malibu sedans from the 2014 model-year due to a faulty brake booster line that could make it more difficult for a motorist to stop the vehicle if a vacuum line disconnects.
GM says it is “aware of” four crashes, though they have not definitively been linked to the problem. There have been no reports of injuries.
A third recall covers 111,889 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars produced during the 2005 to 2007 model-years because their low-beam headlamps can temporarily short-circuit under certain conditions. Additionally, the maker is extending a “Customer Satisfaction Program” to cover 2008 to 2013 Corvettes that might experience the problem, as well.
The maker has received hundreds of complaints due to the problem, but while it says the loss of the headlamps could cause a crash it has so far receive no reports of any accidents.
The fourth recall involves 19,225 Cadillac CTS luxury cars from the 2013 and 2014 model-years which could experience windshield wiper failures. The problem appears to be rare and can occur when one of the Caddys is jump-started in winter with its windshield wipers turned on but blocked by snow or ice.
The final recall involves a handful of full-size pickups and SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model-years due to a tie-rod defect that could also lead to a crash, according to GM. As the condition can occur without warning, the maker is warning owners to park the vehicles immediately and have them taken to a dealer by flatbed.
A total of 477 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light duty pickups from the 2014 model-year, and 2015 model-year Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs are affected.
(Ford, Chrysler, GM recall 1.5 million vehicles. Click Here for details.)
According to a statement from GM, the maker intends to take a $200 million write-down during the second quarter due to the recalls announced on Thursday. It previously experienced a $1.3 billion hit as a result of recalls during the first quarter. But industry observers warn the maker could see significantly higher losses from lawsuits and possible federal penalties resulting from delaying various recalls.
So far this year, GM has recalled about 10 million vehicles — nearly half the entire industry’s total for all of 2013.