GM Recalls 1.5M More Cars Due To Multiple Problems, Admits Failures

Amid mounting concerns surrounding the failure to disclosure ignition problems with certain General Motors (GM) vehicles that may have contributed to a number of deaths nationwide, the auto maker has recalled another 1.5 million cars, indicating that they may pose a risk of engine fires, air bag problems and fail to meet crash standards.

In a video message to GM employees this week, CEO Mary Barra admitted that the company’s quality control process have failed, resulting in “terrible things.”

The message came out on Monday, in regards to recent ignition problems that resulted in the previous recall of 1.6 million cars, which may suddenly turn off when heavy keys are used or if the keys are jolted, such as in an accident. The company now appears to be trying to clean house on any outstanding problems, announcing three new recalls, bringing the total number of impacted vehicles to over 3 million.

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Of the latest recalls, the largest affects 1.18 million mid-sized crossovers, including 2008-2013 Buick Eneclave and GMC Arcadia vehicles, 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverse vehicles, and 2008-2010 Saturn Outlooks. Those vehicles have a wiring issue that could lead to nondeployment of side airbags.

Another recall impacts about 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, which was issued due to the need to replace the instrument panels, which were made with plastic materials that do not meet federal crash safety standards.

The third, and smallest of the new recalls, affects 63,900 Cadillac XTS sedans from the 2013-2014 model year, following at least two reports of engine compartment fires that may have been caused by a brake booster pump wiring problem.

Ignition Switch Recall Woes Continue With Class Action Claim

On the same day as the new recalls were announced, GM was hit with a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of customers who say their vehicles lost value due to the ignition problem. The lawsuit was filed in district court in Texas, and accuses the company of creating an “unreasonably dangerous” condition for drivers. The lawsuit also accuses the company of sitting on the problem since 2004 and not acting.

In addition, GM is likely to face lawsuits from owners and passengers who were injured when airbags failed to deploy, and is also likely to face wrongful death lawsuits from relatives of family members who died in those accidents. While GM claims to have found only a dozen instances of deaths linked to the problem, a report last week by the Center for Auto Safety estimates that number could be in the hundreds.

GM also faces two congressional investigations, and the Department of Justice is looking into the possibility of criminal charges.

“These are serious developments that shouldn’t surprise any one,” Barra said. “After all, something went wrong with our process in this instance and terrible things happened.”

Barra promised the company’s full cooperation with the congressional and Justice Department investigations, and said the company was notifying all affected owners and would make the recall happen as smoothly as possible.

Photo Courtesy of Mrs. FireMom via Flickr Creative Commons

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