Hours after the details of a new victims’ compensation program was announced for those killed or injured as a result of an ignition switch defect, General Motors has revealed it will stage another six separate recalls covering 7.6 million vehicles sold in the U.S.
That move not only brings to nearly 26 million the number of GM vehicles recalled since just the beginning of the year, but also brings to nearly 39 million the overall tally of vehicles recalled by all automakers operating in the U.S. this year, exceeding the previous annual record by almost 15% – and in just six months.
The vast majority – nearly 7.4 million of the vehicles covered by the latest GM recall blitz involve what the automaker describes as “unintended ignition key rotation,” a problem in which a driver can inadvertently nudge the key or key ring and turn the car off. If that happens, it will likely lose its power brake and steering assist while the airbags would be disabled. GM says it knows of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities related to the latest recalls, all in vehicles with the ignition key problem.
“We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers,” Barra said. “If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation.”
Significantly, as with a number of other GM recalls this year, the latest batch covers a wide swatch of products, some dating as far back as the 1997 model-year.
The largest of the new recalls covers 6,805,679 vehicles sold in the US, and another 805,000 shipped to Canada, Mexico and other markets. The vehicles involved include 1997 to 2005 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, 1998 to 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue sedans, 1999 to 2004 Oldsmobile Aleros, 1999 to 2005 Pontiac Grand Ams, 2000 to 2005 Chevrolet Impalas and Monte Carlos, and 2004 to 2008 Pontiac Grand Prixs.
Those models were shipped with keys that could inadvertently be nudged out of the On position, causing a loss of power. The problem is the result of the key design, GM says, not an issue with the ignition switch itself.
The same is the case with the second of the new recalls, covering 554,328 US vehicles and a total of 616,179 sold worldwide. The products covered are the 2003 to 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan and 2004 to 2006 Cadillac SRX.
Another 181,984 vehicles sold in the U.S., 188,705 worldwide, are being recalled due to a potential short that can occur in the power door and window lock module used in the driver’s door. That has been a widespread issue across the industry because the switch module is used by a wide range of manufacturers.
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Another problem impacts the heavy duty versions of the 2007 to 2011 Chevrolet Silverado GMC Sierra pickups equipped with auxiliary batteries. A potential electrical short could cause smoke or even fire. A total of 9,371 trucks sold in the U.S., and 12,008 worldwide, are covered.
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Another electrical problem impacts 2,990 U.S. vehicles, 20,134 sold worldwide, because the insulation on the optional engine block heaters could be damaged in extremely cold weather. This recall covers the 2011 to 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, the 2012 to 2014 Chevrolet Sonic, and the 2013 to 2014 Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore and Verano models.
(For more about GM’s victim compensation fund, including the lack of a cap, Click Here.)
The smallest service action covers 106 U.S. vehicles and 11 more sold outside the States because of an improperly torqued joint fastener. The vehicles covered are the Chevrolet Camaro and Impala, the Buick Regal and the Cadillac XTS, all from the 2014 model-year.
GM says it will take a $1.2 billion charge for recall-related repairs during the second quarter, up from a previous figure of $700 million. The maker took a similar write-down during the first quarter.