GM recalls 3 million: Brakes, lights, wipers, steering – USA TODAY

Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014

General Motors on Thursday announced five recalls covering about 3 million cars and trucks worldwide for problems that have triggered hundreds of complaints and led to some injuries, but no deaths.

Most of the vehicles — 2.7 million — are in the U.S.

The most serious recall is of 520 of GM’s new pickups and SUVs for potential steering failure. GM sent those owners overnight-delivery letters on Wednesday telling them to have their trucks hauled — not driven — to dealers for inspection and repair, if needed.

Also among the five recalls: 140,067 new Chevrolet Malibus for possible loss of power-brake assist, which USA TODAY reported on Wednesday.

STORY: New Malibu’s brakes can malfunction

GM also announced on Thursday that it will take a $200 million charge this quarter for recall costs, after taking a $1.3 billion charge in the first quarter. It has issued 24 recalls this year covering 12.8 million vehicles worldwide — 11.2 million in the U.S.

A significant number are products of the “new GM” formed in the government-scripted bankruptcy reorganization in 2009. The new company was supposed to be freed from the financial stress and corner-cutting of “old GM.”

“The volume and steady drip of recalls at GM are certainly taking their toll on the brand. In the eyes of many, the ‘new GM’ is looking like the old GM — poor quality,” says Daniel Hill, president of Ervin-Hill Strategy, a public relations and government-affairs consultant.

The latest recalls:

2,440,591 cars for a tail-lamp malfunction that also can disable the cruise control, traction control, electronic-stability control and panic-braking assist features. Another 194,314 are in Canada, and 68,819 were exported. Affected models are the 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Aura.

GM says wiring corrosion can cause problem, and it knows of several hundred complaints, 13 crashes and two injuries, but no fatalities linked to the defect. It issued a technical service bulletin about the problem in 2008, and recalled a some 2005-model cars in January 2009.

• 477 of 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and 2015 Chevy Tahoe SUVs for a tie-rod defect that can lead to steering loss. Another 33 are in Canada, and 10, exported. GM says the issue was found and fixed during assembly after the small number of vehicles was released.

• 111,889 of Chevrolet’s 2005-2007 Corvettes in the U.S., for low-beam headlamps that can fail. Another 3,054 are in Canada, and 5,677 were exported. An additional 103,158 2008-2013 Corvettes might have the problem and will be fixed in what GM calls a “customer satisfaction program.” GM knows of several hundred complaints but no crashes.

• 19,225 of Cadillac’s 2013-2014 CTS sedans for potential windshield wiper failure. Another 732 are in Canada, 94 in Mexico, and 1,512 were exported. The wipers can fail if the car is jump-started with the wipers still on but restricted, such as by ice. GM is unaware of any crashes.

• 140,067 Chevrolet Malibus from the 2014 model year for hydraulic-brake booster malfunction. Canada has another 732, and Mexico has 1,163. Details here.

“We have redoubled our efforts to expedite and resolve current reviews in process, and also have identified and analyzed recent vehicle issues which require action,” said Jeff Boyer, GM’s new vice president of Global Vehicle Safety, in a statement.


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