The New York Times reports that General Motors announced “more than half a million more vehicles” were being recalled Friday. GM has now recalled over 20 million vehicles, which already comes close to the 22 million that all the world’s automakers, combined, recalled last year. On top of that, GM’s repair costs are rising, too, with the company having “set aside $2 billion for repairs through the second quarter, which ends on Monday” and does not account for the cars recalled yesterday. This new recall “includes 392,459 full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in the United States, 53,607 in Canada and almost 21,000 sold elsewhere,” which all use four-wheel drive systems that can “switch into neutral without any action by the driver.” NHTSA’s website has already received some complaints related to these issues, according to the article.
The AP reports that the problem is related to “a software glitch” in the 2014 and 2015 models. Besides a loss of power to the wheels during normal driving, the issue “can let the trucks roll away if parked.” So far, GM has not reported any injuries associated with the defect. The article also mentions the problems with ignitions switches currently under investigation by Congress, NHTSA, and the Justice Department, as well as GM’s fine paid to NHTSA and NHTSA documents posted online last Thursday “showing that GM would recall about 29,000 Chevy Cruze compacts in the U.S. for an air bag problem.”
The Detroit Free Press reports, the recalls affect some of “the company’s best-selling and most profitable vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs.” GM has made 48 vehicle recalls this year, as of Friday.
Bloomberg News reports that this week GM also announced that it would be giving paperwork to NHTSA related too the air bag issue, which involved “modules supplied by Japan’s Takata Corp.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that GM spokesperson Jim Cain reiterated the company’s commitment to conducting a full investigation into whether the company’s policy or internal organization contributed to the recalls and vehicle defects. The company’s CEO Mary Barra stated a week ago that she believed the recalls would be over with by July.
WDIV-TV Detroit reported online that the new recall alone affects “428,211 vehicles in the United States.”
The website Kiplinger reports with information related to the string of General Motors automobile recalls, as well as how “high-profile cases obscure the fact that nearly every major automaker has issued recalls.” Still, the article notes that NHTSA’s “more proactive safety stance in recent years may be increasing the number of recalls as well,” as NHTSA now requires automakers to give the agency notice of “consumer complaints more quickly than in the past.”
Feinberg to announce details of victims compensation fund Monday. Bloomberg News reports that the person hired by Barra to setting up the legal fund to compensate people affected by GM’s ignition switch defect, Kenneth Feinberg, “is expected to offer payments to all drivers, passengers and bystanders killed or hurt in collisions” associated with the problem. Feinberg is expected to announce more on Monday, but victims attorney Bob Hilliard contends, “Feinberg wants to settle all eligible claims” with the uncapped fund.
The Washington Post reported in its “Wonkblog” blog that this “could turn out to be one of Feinberg’s toughest jobs yet.” Nevertheless, Hilliard says that his “hope is that Ken Feinberg’s marching orders from GM are to err on the side of liberal awards, given the fact pattern here,” a reference to the revelation that GM was aware about the ignition switch issue for over 10 years.
Lawsuit forced GM’s hand in air bag recall. Reuters reports with more information about the air-bag-related recalls, involving air bags manufactured by Takata Corp, saying that legal action filed in April by Georgia resident Brandi Owens after an accident she had that left her blind in one eye is what prompted GM to recall 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles. Reuters notes that GM’s papers filed with NHTSA related to the air bag recalls did not say anything about Owens’ suit but adds that NHTSA was aware of GM’s effort to replace the air bags on the driver’s side in order to adjust for the Takata defect, related to incorrect parts.
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.