Having already announced service actions involving more vehicles than all of last year, General Motors today revealed four more recalls covering an additional 2.42 million sedans, pickups, crossovers and SUVs.
The maker says it has received a number of complaints about the various issues, which range from seatbelt problems to potential fires. In its announcement, GM said the latest recalls come as part of its “continuing effort to quickly address emerging safety issues,” a comment that supports the comments of industry analysts who feel the maker has decided to err in favor of a recall, going forward, where it might have previously downplayed some potential safety problems.
GM noted that it has added 35 product investigators since the beginning of the year,with CEO Mary Barra also appointing a new global safety czar. All told, 2014 has seen the maker launch 29 safety-related recalls, and while two have been for problems affecting less than 100 vehicles, others have run into the millions of vehicles, 2.6 million covered by just the ignition switch defect that has led to a series of investigations by a variety of federal agencies, including the U.S. Justice Department.
All told, GM has now recalled about 14 million vehicles in the U.S. since the beginning of the year, with the industry’s overall total now approaching 23 million. The total for all of 2013 was a record 32 million – which most industry analysts believe will be exceeded well before 2014 ends.
The four latest recalls, according to GM, include:
- 1,339,355 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia full-size crossovers from the 2009-2014 model years and Saturn Outlooks from 2009-2010 because front safety lap belt cables can fatigue and separate over time. In a crash, a separated cable could increase the risk of injury to front seat passengers.
- 1,075,102 of the previous generation 4-speed automatic transmission Chevrolet Malibu and from the 2004-2008 model years and Pontiac G6 from the 2005-2008 model years because of a shift cable that could wear out over time, resulting in mismatches of the gear position indicated by the shift lever.
- 1,402 Cadillac Escalades and Escalade ESVs from the 2015 model year because an insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the passenger side air bag to the instrument panel assembly could result in a partial deployment of the air bag in the event of a crash.
- 58 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups from the 2015 model year because retention clips attaching the generator fuse block to the vehicle body can become loose and lead to a potential fire.
GM says it is “aware of” 18 crashes and one injury related to the transmission problem on the older Chevrolet Malibu sedans. While it has received numerous complaints regarding the other recall issues, there have been no reported crashes or injuries.
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The Detroit giant’s recall problems have grown increasingly costly. It took a write-off of $1.3 billion during the first three months of the year related to the ignition switch debacle and other recalls. And it said it would take a $200 million charge for five recalls announced on May 16. That has now been increased to $400 million.
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But that’s likely to be just the beginning. Last week, GM agrees to pay a record $35 million as part of an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a result of the delays in the ignition switch recall. The maker could also pay significant fines – some estimates pushing above $1 billion – to settle the ongoing Justice Department investigation.
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Meanwhile, GM is facing potentially billions of dollars in additional losses related to wrongful deaths and injuries related to its recalls, especially those involving the ignition switch issue. The maker has confirmed it is currently looking at 79 separate lawsuits related to claimed economic losses of up to $10 billion as the result of a decline in value of recalled vehicles.