General Motors Automotive Recalls
General Motors has recalled nearly 26 million vehicles in the U.S. alone, and almost 29 million worldwide as of June 30, 2014. The automaker has issued 45 vehicle recalls in 2014 alone, and only three of more than three dozen models haven't required GM to notify its customers.
NBC news reports that the only models not among the list of 54 recalls this year are: Chevrolet Equinox crossover, GMC Terrain and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.
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Faulty Ignition Switch Recall
February 2014: GM starts recalling 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small cars. The automaker says if ignition keys were bumped or jostled, their engines could turn off, disabling critical systems like steering, brakes and air bags. GM admits it knows of eight crashes and six injuries because of this problem. As early as December 2000, drivers of the Impala and other recalled cars complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of this problem, according to federal records reviewed by The New York Times.
June 2014: In June alone GM announces three other recalls involving more than 200,000 additional vehicles. Almost half a million Chevrolet Camaros have been recalled from the 2010 to 2014 model years because a driver's knee can bump the key and knock the switch out of the "run" position, causing an engine stall. A stall disables the power steering and brakes and could cause drivers to lose control.
A plug in the brake system can come loose in 63,900 of GM's 2013 and 2014 Cadillac XTS sedans, allowing corrosion and causing overheating that could lead to an engine-compartment fire.
Front passengers who do not wear safety belts in Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana commercial vans can suffer head injuries because the material covering the passenger-side air bag doesn't meet federal standards.
May 2014: GM recalls almost 2.5 million vehicles in the US and nearly 200,00 in Canada for a taillamp malfunction that also can disable the cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and panic braking assist feature. GM had received several hundred complaints, including 13 crashes and two injuries before issuing the recall in the 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Aura models.
Additionally 20,134 North American vehicles are recalled because "insulation on the engine block heater power cord (if equipped) may become damaged during very cold conditions." 2,990 of these vehicles are in the US:
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2012-2014 Chevrolet Sonic
- 2013-2014 Chevrolet Trax
- 2013-2014 Buick Encore
- 2013-2014 Buick Verano
A plug in the brake system of 63,900 of GM's 2013 and 2014 Cadillac XTS sedans can come loose, allowing corrosion and causing overheating that could lead to an engine-compartment fire.
January 2014: 303,000 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks with 4.3-liter and 5.3-liter engines are recalled in the US and 67,000 models sold in Canada and Mexico to reprogram software. GM says a software glitch can cause overheating in the components of the exhaust system, possibly creating a fire.
June 2013: About 194,000 SUVs in the US are recalled because an electrical short in the driver' door could disable the power locks and windows, potentially causing overheating and a fire. The vehicles being recalled are 2006 model year Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL SUVs and 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, SAAB 9-7x, and Isuzu Ascender SUVs. As well, 2005 model year 9-7Xs are being recalled.
GM Ignition Switch Lawsuits GM has admitted that it had knowledge of faulty ignition switches for more than a decade but didn't recall the cars until early 2014. Because of this delay GM paid a fine of $35-million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the company is under investigation by the Justice Department and both houses of Congress. Lawmakers and attorneys believe approximately 100 people have died and hundreds were injured in crashes due to the faulty switches.
The automaker has in place a compensation fund to cover the deaths and injuries linked to the faulty switch that could reach up to $1 billion, according to some analysts.
A class action lawsuit was filed in Seattle seeking up to $10 billion for the loss of resale value of customer' cars. According to Reuters, the complaint alleges that GM hurt customers by "concealing known defects and valuing cost-cutting over safety, leading to roughly 40 recalls"that involved more than 20 million cars and trucks just this year. Further, the recent recalls and defects have caused many recent model cars to lose $500 to almost $3000 in resale value. The lawsuit claims that, "no reasonable consumer would have paid the price they did when the GM brand meant safety and success."
GM said it expects to spend about $2.4 billion to handle all vehicles recalled during the first half of 2014 alone. GM is currently discussing settlements with those plaintiffs involved in accidents, injuries, and deaths related to its recalls and defects.
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