Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
General Motors (GM) has announced it’s largest auto recall of the year, pulling more than eight million vehicles from the market worldwide due to unintended ignition key rotations that may have caused at least three deaths.
GM CEO Mary Barra announced an ignition key rotation recall on Monday, which affects vehicles dating from 1997 to the present and includes some Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Cadillac vehicles.
The world’s largest automaker issued a total of six recalls on June 30, affecting 7,554,458 GM vehicles sold in the U.S., and 8,448,005 sold worldwide.
This is the latest in a series of GM recalls issued this year, with nearly 30 million vehicles in all recalled since the beginning of 2014.
The recalls cost the company $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014, and Barra said the company expects the recall costs for the second quarter to come in at about $1.2 billion. Barra said the expenses were necessary to rehabilitate the company into a world leader in auto safety.
“We undertook what I believe is the most comprehensive safety review in the history of our company because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers,” Barra said in the press release. “Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles. That has hardened my resolve to set a new industry standard for vehicle safety, quality and excellence.”
The largest of the latest recalls is due to unintended ignition key rotations, which can cause a vehicle to stall while in motion. The recall affects 7.36 million cars sold domestically, and 8.2 million sold world wide and includes the following vehicles:
- 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
- 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
- 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
- 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
- 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS
- 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
GM grouped the Cadillacs as a separate recall, but gave the exact same reason of unintended ignition key rotation, and did not explain why they were considered a different recall than the other vehicles.
According to the press release, GM is aware of at least seven auto accidents, eight injuries and three fatalities that may be linked to the recalled vehicles, but noted that there was no conclusive evidence that the accidents, injuries or deaths were caused by the ignition switch defects.
In addition, GM is recalling 181,984 domestically sold 2005-2007 Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender, Saab 9-7x, and 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL vehicles that may have an electrical short in the driver’s door module. This could disable the power door lock and window and could also cause the module to overheat.
The company is also recalling 9,371 domestic 2007-2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD vehicles equipped with auxiliary batteries because an electric overload could cause a vehicle fire that could damage the electrical center cover and wiring.
Another recall warns that insulation on the engine block heater power cord can become damaged during cold conditions, affecting 2,990 2011-2014 Chevy Cruze, 2012-2014 Chevy Sonic, 2013-2014 Chevy Trax, Buick Encore and Verano vehicles.
Another 106 2014 Chevrolet Camaro and Impala, Buick Regal and Cadillac XTS vehicles are being recalled because they do not have a “Superhold” joint fastener torqued to the proper specifications.
GM Ignition Switch Controversy
This latest round of recalls came just hours after attorneys for the company announced the creation of a settlement fund for victims who were injured and killed in auto accidents linked to a GM ignition switch recall.
More than 2.5 million Chevy, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles have been recalled this year due to defective ignition switches, which can cause the vehicles to shut off and disable the air bags if heavy key chains are used or if the ignition is jarred, such as may occur in a crash.
The company said that GM settlements will start at $1 million for families of individuals who died in auto accidents linked to the defective ignition switches, and those with permanent injuries requiring medical care may get much more.
Federal and independent investigations have revealed that the company knew about the ignition switch problem since at least 2002, but failed to take action to protect customers until this year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined GM $35 million over the ignition switch recall, and GM’s own internal investigation said the incident revealed a “pattern of incompetence” within the company.
Originally, GM said it was aware of 13 deaths linked to the original ignition switch recall. But today the company boosted that number to 16 deaths and 61 crashes. Federal investigators say that number will likely continue to rise.
At least 15 different GM ignition switch lawsuits have already been filed, and the number of cases is expected to grow.
In early June, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order consolidating all economic lawsuits against GM under U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in federal court in New York for pretrial proceedings.