Since February, it seems as if General Motors has issued a massive new round of recalls every couple of days. Today is no exception.
The six recalls listed below affect a range of current and former GM brands, from model year 1997 to 2014. Though GM hasn't revealed complete details about the underlying problems behind these recalls, 8.2 million of the 8.4 million affected vehicles suffer from ignition switch issues similar to those plaguing many 2003-2007 GM vehicles. Detroit News has fleshed out additional info about these and other recalls on the list:
RECALL #1: 2000-05 Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo; 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu; 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue; 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero; 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am; 2004-08 Pontiac Grand Prix
UNITS AFFECTED: 7,610,862 (6,805,679 in the U.S.)
RECALL #2: 2003-14 Cadillac CTS; 2004-06 Cadillac SRX
UNITS AFFECTED: 616,179 (554,328 in the U.S.)
Both of these recalls involve, in GM's words, "unintended ignition key rotation", the same problem plaguing ignition switches across GM's early-21st-century lineup. Unlike many of those models, though, the fix for these vehicles isn't the replacement of the ignition switch itself, but rather an insert for the slot in the car key, which converts it to more of a hole. That reduces the swing and pull that a heavy key ring might have on the car key, eliminating the risk of the ignition being turned off while the vehicle is in motion.
RECALL #3: 2011-14 Chevrolet Cruze; 2012-14 Chevrolet Sonic; 2013-14 Buick Encore, Buick Verano, Chevrolet Trax
UNITS AFFECTED: 20,134 (2,990 in the U.S.)
During extremely cold weather, the heater power cord on the engine block can become damaged. Detroit News says that one injury has been reported.
RECALL #4: 2014 Buick Regal, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Impala
UNITS AFFECTED: 117 (104 in the U.S)
In some of these vehicles, a joint fastener may have been improperly tightened. Given that barely 100 units are recalled -- despite the high production numbers on most of these models -- it suggests that the recall will affect only those vehicles manufactured on very specific dates.
RECALL #5: 2007-11 Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Sierra HD
UNITS AFFECTED: 12,008 (9,371 in the U.S.)
This recall only affects those trucks equipped with auxiliary batteries. In certain situations, the wiring may cause an element under the truck's hood to melt.
RECALL #6: 2005-2007 Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender, Saab 9-7x; 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy XL
UNITS AFFECTED: 188,705 (181,984 in the U.S.)
These vehicles were recalled in 2012 for an electrical short affecting the power doors and windows. That short can prevent the doors and windows from opening, and it may present a fire hazard in the driver's side door. As we reported at the time:
"NHTSA has received 83 complaints, 66 of which claim that the door module melted, while the 17 remaining said the window switches malfunctioned or failed to work. In addition, 28 of the reports received have led to driver door fires, some of which allege that the vehicle was unattended and not in operation at the time."
GM's initial remedy was to offer additional coverage for the affected parts, but the automaker is now planning to inspect and, if necessary, replace faulty door control modules.
Additional details about all six recalls -- including notification schedules and remedies -- should be available after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes them in the agency's recall database.
Including these actions, GM has issued a total of 54 recalls since January 1.
The timing of these new recalls is no coincidence.
Since the "Switchgate" scandal broke in February, GM's new CEO, Mary Barra, and her team have been scrambling to recover. To do that, they've initiated a number of internal probes, and they've fast-tracked recalls that were in the works. According to Barra herself, “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. 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."
Whether she'll be successful on that front remains to be seen, but we applaud her for making a strong effort.
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