General Motors Recall: Then & Now

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GM Recall

General Motors Recall: The Domino Effect

GM Recall Overview

In February 2014, GM announced a recall of over 2.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switch installations. It wouldn’t have been as big of a deal since cars are recalled—though typically not in such vast quantities—for safety protocols and concerns, but controversy sparked when it was released that GM had known about the issue up to several years BEFORE it announced the mass recall. Here is the information collected regarding the various recalls of the 2.6 million vehicles.

  • 2.6 million small cars recalled for ignition switches, which can cause the car to stall and disables the airbags and power steering. Models include Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky, from 2003-2011 model years.
  • 1.18 million SUVs recalled for side airbags, front center airbags and seatbelt pretensioners failing to deploy if drivers ignore an airbag warning light. Models include Buick Enclave (2008-2013 model years), GMC Acadia (2008-2013 model years), Chevrolet Traverse (2009-2013 model years), and Saturn Outlook (2008-2010 model years).
  • 303,000 vans recalled for material on the instrument panel not adequately protected unbelted passengers’ heads in crash. Models include Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna, 2009-2014 model years.
  • 63,000 Cadillac XTS sedans, model years 2013-2014 due to a plug in brake assembly dislodging and short, increasing risk of engine compartment fire.

GM was fined $35 million after signing an agreement with the US Department of Transportation for the delays in the recall. GM has been reported to admitting that it did not comply with the five business day rule of reporting a safety defect. GM also agreed to pay an additional amount for not meeting the NHTSA deadline for submitting documents concerning events leading up to the recall, which resulted in the maximum $7,000 per day.

Other Car Dealership Recalls Follow

It might just be coincidence, but in the months following GM’s mass recall that received harsh criticism, many car dealerships such as Ford, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, and more.

  • Ford Recall: 204,448 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossover vehicles to correct an issue that could cause a fire. The 2007-2008 models have fuel tank reinforcement brackets that could become corroded, which in turn could result in a fuel leak and a possible fire.
  • Hyundai Recall: 42,925 sedans in the United States due to potentially faulty brake lights. Hyundai is recalling 2009-2011 Genesis and 2011 Equus sedans because a circuit failure may lead to the brake lights not illuminating, which could increase the risk of a rear-end crash as a following vehicle might not recognize the car ahead was slowing or stopping.
  • Nissan Recall: 470,000 cars and SUVs worldwide to fix a problem that can cause fuel leaks. In the U.S., the recall covers about 134,000 vehicles with direct fuel injection engines. That includes Nissan’s Juke SUV from the 2012 through 2014 model years, Infiniti M56 and QX56 from 2012 and 2013, and Infiniti QX70 and QX80 SUVs from 2014 and 2015.
  • Jaguar Recall: 7,079 Jaguar F-Type sports cars in the United States because potential incorrect wiring could lead to the front passenger air bag not activating.

Second Controversy Spews With New Evidence

New evidence showed that GM actually placed a huge, ‘rush’ order for 500,000 ignition parts six weeks prior to announcing the recall. Even the supplier thought the request was strange! These newly released emails, all 36 pages of them, shows a number of failings in GM’s processes and procedures.

The faulty ignition parts have now been linked to 32 deaths and 31 injuries. There have been other reports stating that there have been at least 85 people injured and one person killed due to these faulty switches during the time GM was delaying and trying to build up their stock of new ignition parts.

You can find general recall information here.