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GM recalls 1.54 million cars to 'redouble' safety checks

Automaker preemptively recalls late-model vans, crossovers and sedans, although 2.9 million more cars under federal investigation are not included.

By Exhaust Notes Mar 17, 2014 9:51AM
General Motors, in an attempt to show that it is paying more attention to defects, has recalled another 1.54 million cars for various problems, the automaker said Monday.

The approximately 1,546,900 models -- unrelated to the ignition switch recalls that have led to at least 12 deaths and three separate federal and criminal investigations -- have multiple problems which GM found under CEO Mary Barra's order.

“I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” Barra said in a statement.

GM will recall 1.18 million three-row crossovers for airbags that may not deploy in a crash. All Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia models from 2010-2013 are affected, as well as some models from 2008-2009. The 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook is also included. An electrical problem may disable the side airbags. Dealers will need to remove the airbag wiring harnesses and "splice and solder the wires together."

The 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less have dashboard material that is too hard and doesn't comply with federal head impact requirements for unbelted passengers. GM will replace the material under the dash on about 303,000 vehicles and has told dealers not to sell any vans until the fix is available.

Another 63,900 Cadillac XTS sedans from 2013 and 2014 have brake boosters that can corrode and overheat. Specifically, the brake booster's pressure can cause an electrical plug to pop out and cause a short. GM said it was aware of two underhood fires from unsold cars at dealers and another two cars that had melted plastic parts near the brake booster.

GM did not say when the recalls would begin.

The three recalls don't address five current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigations into 2.9 million GM models, some of which have been ongoing since 2011. One of these investigations involves the 2004-2007 Saturn Ion -- one of the same models involved in the ignition switch recall -- for electric power steering that can fail and make the steering wheel difficult to turn. GM has received nearly 3,500 complaints on the issue. Another investigation involves 1.77 million full-size SUVs and pickup trucks from 1999-2003 for brake line corrosion that can lead to increased stopping distances. GM and the NHTSA also received more than 1,300 complaints for brake light malfunctions on 2005-2008 Pontiac G6 models, which were not included in last year's recall of just under 10,000 cars in the U.S. None of these investigations have been escalated to a recall either by the NHTSA or GM.

GM is currently under a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice and under two separate investigations by the U.S. House of Representatives and the NHTSA for the company's February recall of 1.62 million compact cars from 2003-2007. GM first knew about the problem -- in which the ignition switch can loosen and shut the car's engine off at any speed, thereby disabling all power assists for the steering and brakes and electronic safety features such as airbags -- at least 13 years ago on a preproduction Saturn Ion.

GM later found the same problem on a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt during the car's launch in 2004. By 2006, GM had approved a redesigned switch with a stronger spring to prevent the ignition key from slipping out of the "on" position and informed dealers of the change, but less than 500 cars were repaired and most car owners did not know there was a repair. GM has settled out of court for this exact problem and the NHTSA is also under investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives for its corresponding failure to act despite receiving hundreds of complaints on this issue.

Mar 17, 2014 10:20AM
I don't wish poorly on GM but they deserve this for refusing to pay back their bail out LOAN (not a gift), and for taking that money to China to create jobs instead of here in the U.S.
 It's called karma GM, you're getting what you deserve.

GM don't forget to recall the 2007-2010 Acadia's for the faulty transmission. I know I wasn't the only one. Just own up to your mistakes and move on, it will save lives. 
Mar 17, 2014 8:46PM

I understand design flaws and mistakes. I also get that alot of recalls do get made and other issues get addressed with TSB's and other programs. This however is just criminal. Most auto manufacturers get away with ignoring known issues but the potential downside to these flaws are without a doubt, life threatening. GM knew it wasn't an isolated small issue. They were aware people had died and were probably also aware that there were many more accidents that didn't cause fatalities but still ended with injuries and loss of property. They did nothing. They ignored it. They brushed it under the carpet.


Wait till the story gets more coverage and more people come forward claiming their past accidents were caused by the cars shutting itself off and their losing control. How many injuries were there? How much money did people pay in increased deductibles because they caused an accident when their car shut off and lost control? The problems for GM haven't even started.

Mar 18, 2014 4:06AM

That is just perfect! We bail out GM and they build unreliable vehicles and completely ignore the deaths they caused. Now they act as if nothing happened knowing their cars/trucks were built shabby.

Not only do they owe each taxpayer money they should pay dearly for the deaths they caused!

It makes me sick to see that bonuses are given out to each employee each year when they still owe for the bailout. I will never ever buy a GM car. Firstly because they screwed us. Secondly because they build junk and lastly is that they should fire the designers and start making a car that doesn't look the same year after year. GM keeps saying "Buy American". Well, pay back your debt to us and build better vehicles. I can buy a Kia for way less price, get a better warranty. and guess what? It is made in America by Americans who are not owned by the UAW.

Mar 17, 2014 6:37PM

Not to mention the countless other consumers whom have had replaced faulty front brake sensors, warped front brake rotors and at the consumers expense on other GM vehicles such as Malibu's since 2002 which go unnoticed.. Is it more than probable that when the GM plant in Moraine Ohio and the Delphi Corp. plant in the Dayton Ohio area no longer produce and install required safety equipment at those production plants almost a decade ago have anything to do with this recent development? Since cars no longer "rust out", drive them until you get a recall must be the ne motto.

Mar 20, 2014 5:58AM
Why worry they can always get bailed out again! The man in the White House still needs union votes for the mid terms.
Mar 17, 2014 12:54PM
GM refused to do something? WOW!! Do you think its their ego getting in the way of Safety?  Shame on them...
Mar 20, 2014 6:51AM
Looks to me that the new GM is a lot like the old GM.....backruptcy might be in their future once again and this time they need to go out of business permanently because of their mistakes....
Mar 17, 2014 8:26PM
This is old news, the recall for the seat airbag connectors has been out for over a year now.
Mar 19, 2014 5:24PM
This is only a tip of the iceberg.....
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