Are there any GM cars that haven’t been recalled? – USA TODAY
The rapid pace of General Motors recalls is intentional, as the company delves into its records to find and purge lurking safety issues.
But it’s unsettling, leaving an impression GM produces unsafe vehicles and, in some cases, makes dumb mistakes. It recalled 8,208 of its 2014 cars on May 7, for example, because they might have rear brakes on the front wheels.
On Tuesday, GM issued four more recalls totaling 2.42 million vehicles in the U.S. And GM says it has informed regulators about two more recalls imminent but not yet announced. The latest batch includes safety belt, air bag, transmission and electrical issues in a range of midsize sedans, full-size crossovers and SUVs, and pickups.
RELATED STORY: Four new GM recalls total 2.42 million vehicles
In the second quarter, GM says, it has issued 16 recalls for a total of 12.6 million vehicles in the U.S., perhaps another 1 million in other countries once GM finishes counting. The first quarter, by GM’s count, it announced 11 U.S. recalls affecting nearly 6.1 million cars and trucks.
The result is “the year of the recall at GM,” says Daniel Hill, president of public relations consultants Ervin-Hill Strategy.
“It’s not a bad approach” to get it done and past, Hill says, but it can leave potential customers “stuck between the ‘old GM’ and a ‘new GM’ that they must already want to distance themselves from” because of the cavalcade of recalls.
“Old GM” is a reference to the company before the 2009 bankruptcy reorganization. CEO Mary Barra, who took over the corner office in January, has said often that “new GM” is a different company, focused on customers and safety, instead of the cost-cutting that drove the pre-bankruptcy company.
George Hoffer, transportation economist at the University of Richmond who’s studied the auto industry for 40 years, says, however, that such a drumbeat of recalls is not likely to matter. His research shows that recalls have no effect on the sale of a company’s new or used cars.
Hoffer also says the government’s emphasis on “airing every recall no matter how inconsequential” will make recalls “so common as to be a non-event.” Already, he says, they’ve become “like a plane landing.”
Why GM has little choice but to keep combing its records and being quick to recall:
•The government says so. GM last week was fined the maximum $35 million for foot-dragging on the recall of 2.6 million 2003-11 small cars with a faulty ignition switch to which GM links 12 U.S. deaths and one in Canada. Part of that settlement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is what the government calls “unprecedented oversight” — GM must meet with NHTSA monthly on investigations and recalls. There’s little room in that arrangement for anything but urgency.
•The boss says so. In March, Barra appointed GM’s first global quality chief, Jeff Boyer, and said he could report directly to her, if necessary, to cut red tape about problems and potential recalls. His mission: Find and deal with anything that seems dangerous or fishy, including “defects that would have previously gone unreported,” as Eric Ibara, a director at Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, characterizes them.
•Investors say so, even if reluctantly. It’s considered best to get the bad news out fast, and to book the accompanying charges in as few quarters as possible so the following quarters’ earnings are predictable. Of course, investors hate that GM posted a $1.3 billion charge against earnings the first quarter to cover recall costs, nearly wiping out GM earnings. And there’s no joy over GM’s forecast write-down of $400 million — so far — to pay for this quarter’s recalls.
But the Nasdaq exchange reports that 60% of analysts polled rated GM a “buy,” and GM stock has dropped fewer than 25 cents since Feb. 6, the day before GM told the government it was recalling hundreds of thousands of cars for the switch and starting the parade of recalls. GM shares closed Tuesday at $33.07, down half a percent since the $33.23 Feb. 6 close.
GM’s U.S. recalls this year
Below are General Motors’ recall of vehicles in the U.S. since Jan. 1
Date, no. of U.S. vehicles, models affected, recall defect
– Jan. 13: 324,970 of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra for overheated exhaust parts
– Feb. 7 and 25: 1,367,146 of the 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR, 2005-07 Pontiac G5, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice, 2003-07 Saturn ION, 2007 Saturn Sky, 2007 Opel GT, 2007 Daewoo G2X for ignition switch
– Feb 20: 355 of the 2014 Buick Enclave, LaCrosse, Regal and Verano; 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, Impala, Malibu and Travers; 2014 GMC Acadia for transmission shift cable adjuster
– March 17: 63,903 of the 2013-14 Cadillac XTS for brake vacuum booster
– March 17: 303,013 of the 2009 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana for airbag
– March 17: 1,178,407 of the 2008-13 Buick Enclave, 2008-13 Chevrolet Traverse, 2008-13 GMC Acadia, 2008-10 Saturn Outlook for airbag
– March 17: 656 of the Cadillac ELR for electronic brake control
– March 28: 823,788 of the 2008-11 Chevrolet HHR, 2008-10 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2008-10 Pontiac G5, 2008-10 Pontiac Solstice, 2008-10 Saturn Sky, 2008-10 Opel GT, 2008-09 Daewoo G2X for ignition switch
– March 28: 174,046 of the 2013-14 Chevrolet Cruze for front axle shaft
– March 28: 489, 936 of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, 2014 GMC Sierra, 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, 2014 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL for oil cooler fitting.
– March 31: 1,340,447 of the 2004-06 Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx, 2004-06 Pontiac G6, 2004-07 Saturn Ion, 2008-09 Chevrolet Malibu, 2008-09 Pontiac G6, 2008-09 Saturn Aura, 2010 Cobalt, 2009-10 Chevrolet HHR for electric power steering
– April 9: 2,191,014 of the 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-11 Chevrolet HHR, 2007-10 Pontiac G5, 2006-10 Pontiac Solstice, 2003-07 Saturn ION, 2007-10 Saturn Sky for ignition key cylinder
– April 24: 50,571 of the 2013 Cadillac SRX for acceleration lag
– April 19: 23,249 of the 2009-10 Pontiac Vibe (built by Toyota) for air bags
– April 24: 51 of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2014 GMC Sierra HD for diesel transfer pump
– April 29: 51,640 of the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse, 2014 GMC Acadia and 2014 Buick Enclave for inaccurate fuel gauge
– April 29: 56,214 of the 2007-08 Saturn Aura for shift cable
– May 7: 8,208 of the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and 2104 Buick Lacrosse for brake rotors
– May 14: 111,889 of the 2005-07 Corvette for headlight low beams
– May 14: 19,225 of the 2014 Cadillac CTS for windshield wipers
– May 14: 140,067 of the 2014 Malibu for brake boost
– May 14: 2,440,524 of the 2004-12 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-07 Malibu Maxx, 2005-10 Pontiac G6 and 2007-10 Saturn Aura for brake lamps
– May 14: 477 of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe for steering tie-rod
– May 16: 1,402 of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade for passenger air bag
– May 19: 1,339,355 of the 2009-10 Saturn Outlook, 2009-14 Chevrolet Traverse, 2009-14 GMC Acadia and 2009-14 Buick Enclave for front seat belts
– May 19: 58 of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2015 GMC Sierra HD for loose fuse block
– May 19: 1,075,102 of the 2004-08 Chevrolet Malibu and 2005-08 Pontiac G6 for shift cable (expands April 29 Saturn Aura recall)