General Motors has issued three new recalls, in addition to its previous recall of 1.6 million small vehicles due to defective ignition switches. The three latest recalls involve:
- Approximately 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from the model years 2009-2014 in order to correct the material on the instrument panel to conform with federal standards for protecting unbelted passengers.
- Approximately 63,000 Cadillac XTS models from 2013 and 2014 due to defects in the brake booster that can lead to corrosion and the possibility of overheating and fire hazards.
- Approximately 1.18 million 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclaves and GMC Acadias, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverses and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlooks due to defects in the wiring of seat-mounted side airbags.
GM has reported that the three newest recalls are due to GM’s CEO, Martha Barra’s request for internal safety review in light of the previous switch recall, which involved 1.62 million vehicles worldwide. The switch recall also triggered federal investigations into GM’s knowledge of the switch defect possibly as early as 2001. A focus of that investigation is expected to be the automaker’s delay in reporting crashes and deaths that may have been related to defective ignition switches on older model Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5s, Chevrolet HHR SUVs, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky Sports cars.
A total of twelve deaths and 31 crashes have been linked to the GM switch defect. Thus far the automaker is aware of at least two engine compartment fires that took place in unsold vehicles at dealerships in addition to two incidents where melted components were discovered. There have not been any reported injuries or deaths related to the newest three recalls.
Repairs for the above mentioned recalls, three newest recalls, will be done at no cost to customers and as soon as parts are available GMC will be notifying customers. The automaker is expected to take a $300 million charge against its first-quarter earnings to pay for the four recent recalls.
A lawsuit has been brought against GM relating to the switch defects in models recalled such as the 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Though not alleging physical injury the suit is to recover compensation due to diminished value of their vehicle and loss of use of the affected vehicle. A suit filed in federal court on Friday in Texas is awaiting class action certification, so that plaintiffs may represent similarly situated individuals around the country who have been injured due to the defective switches.
Auto recalls can happen for various reasons whether it is severe safety issues or subtle defects. Nonetheless automobile defects can be dangerous and result in serious injuries and even death.