GM adds to lengthy list of recalls

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OSHAWA, ONT. – General Motors is finding out that when it rains, it pours.

Just weeks after controversy erupted when documents revealed the company had not issued a safety recall for certain models for ignition switch issues linked to over a dozen deaths, the automaker has hit the market with more than 25 recalls for several nameplates totaling over 13 million vehicles around the world.

The latest issued this week concerns three separate recalls issued involving 181,500 vehicles sold in Canada.

They include 75,700 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia full-size crossovers from the 2009-2014 model years and Saturn Outlooks from 2009-2010 because front safety lap belt cables can fatigue and separate over time. In a crash, a separated cable could increase the risk of injury to front seat passengers.

The second was issued for 105,700 of the previous generation four-speed automatic transmission Chevrolet Malibu and from the 2004-2008 model years and Pontiac G6 from the 2005-2008 model years because of a shift cable that could wear out over time, resulting in mismatches of the gear position indicated by the shift lever.  

The automaker also issued a recall for 57 Cadillac Escalades and Escalade ESVs from the 2015 model year because an insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the passenger side air bag to the instrument panel assembly could result in a partial deployment of the air bag in the event of a crash. 

All affected vehicles in the latter case remain in dealer inventory and will be repaired prior to sale.

As a show of just how serious the company is taking its position as “the new GM,” it says it has added 35 product investigators since the beginning of 2014.

Since the initial ignition switch incident in February, GM has initiated 29 safety and non-compliance recalls in the U.S. and Canada.

In the full-size crossover recall, the flexible steel cable that connects the safety belt to the vehicle at the outside of the front outboard seating positions can fatigue and separate over time as a result of occupant movement into the seat.

GM has told dealers they cannot sell new or used models of the vehicles until repairs are made.

The previous generation Malibu, Malibu Maxx and Pontiac G6 were added to an April 29 recall for certain 4-speed transmission Aura models from the 2007-2008 model year. The Malibu and G6 vehicles equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission have a condition in which the transmission shift cable may fracture. When the fracture occurs, the driver may not be able to select a different gear, remove the key from the ignition or place the transmission in park.

GM is aware of 18 crashes and one injury among the 4-speed Malibu and G6 in the U.S.

Dealers will replace the shift cable and attachment bracket at no charge to the customer.

GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately $400 million in the second quarter, primarily for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This amount includes a previously disclosed $200 million charge for the five recalls announced May 16.

Last week also saw the company face a $35 million fine issued by the U.S. government for failing to disclose information about safety issues in an expedient fashion.