General Motors has expanded its ignition switch recall to encompass 7.6 million more U.S. vehicles made from 1997 to 2014.
GM, the world’s second largest automaker, has now recalled 29 million vehicles this year. More than half of them were because of potentially defective ignition switches. GM last year sold 2.8 million vehicles in the United States and 9.7 million worldwide.
GM had already set the record for most recalls in a year just six months into 2014.
“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,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles.”
The latest recall for “inadvertent ignition key rotation” is attributed to seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities, which brings GM’s total number of fatalities for faulty ignition problems to 16. GM says there is no conclusive evidence that the defect caused those crashes, however.
“So far these recalls haven’t impacted current sales and have had minimal impact on consumer perception,” says Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “But we’re hitting unprecedented numbers and it’s reasonable for people to start asking, 'When and where will it end?'"
Customers are still being advised to remove all items from their key rings, leaving on the vehicle key, until all repairs have been performed. Dealerships have been working on the fix since April and will likely be backlogged by the fifth large wave of ignition-related recalls.
February 13, 2014: 778,562 Chevy Cobalt (2005 to 2007) and Pontiac G5 (2007).
February 25, 2014: Ignition switch expands to cover 1.6 million, including the Saturn Ion (2003 to 2007), and the Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky (2006 to 2007).
March 28, 2014: Expands to 2.6 million, covering all model years of the Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Ion, Saturn Sky, Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Solstice made from 2003-2011.
June 16, 2014: 3.4 million more GM vehicles recalled for igintion switch issues, including the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac DeVille and several other models, though only the Impala is currently in production. The cars cover model years 2000 through 2014.
Two of today's six recalls are for "unintended ignition key rotation" and include the Chevrolet Malibu (1997 to 2005), Oldsmobile Intrigue (1998 to 2002), Oldsmobile Alero (1999 to 2004), Pontiac Grand Am (1999 to 2005), Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo (2000 to 2005), Pontiac Grand Prix (2004 to 2008), Cadillac CTS (2003 to 2014) and the Cadillac SRX (2004 to 2006).
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