If you’re reading this site, you probably already know this, but General Motors has recalled a large mass of its vehicles over the last two months. It all began in early February when GM announced it was recalling nearly 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars due to a faulty ignition switch, which if subjected to “jarring” motions may allow for the key to come loose while the car is in motion. If the key does come loose, it could shut off the assisted power steering system as well as the airbags, increasing the chances of a fatal collision.
GM has since expanded the recall of vehicles with potentially faulty ignition switches to 2,591,665 units globally. This includes every single Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevy HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion, Saturn Sky and Opel GT from all model years.
The all-encompassing recall quickly prompted GM CEO Mary Barra to request a comprehensive internal safety review of the company’s processes, which led to the recall of an additional 1.54 million vehicles. Included in this batch were 1.18 million Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse, and Saturn Outlook crossovers with a faulty airbag system, 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans over an issue with head impact requirements and 63,900 Cadillac XTS sedans which have a brake-booster pump that may overheat.
“I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” Barra said of the additional recalls. “That is what today’s GM is all about.”
Barra’s internal safety review pushed on, bringing to light more possible issues with GM vehicles, this time in relatively new models. Exactly 355 examples of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, Malibu, Cruze and Traverse as well as the Buick Enclave, Regal, Lacrosse, Verano and GMC Acadia were recalled over a faulty adjuster for the transmission shift cable. That was soon followed up by the recall of 656 Cadillac ELR extended-range coupes due to a programming fault in the car’s electronic stability control system and the recall of 172,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans due to an inadequate half-shaft which may fracture or break.
Many thought that was it for the recalls, but they were proven wrong when a 2015 GMC Yukon burst into flames during a test drive in California. GM quickly assembled a team and sent them down to investigate the incident, where they found a loose hose clamp connecting the oil cooler to the transmission can leak oil, which may pose a fire risk. GM subsequently recalled around 490,000 of the redesigned SUVs so dealers could make adjustments to the fitting.
The latest progression in the GM recall debacle came yesterday, when the automaker announced it was recalling an additional 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. because the cars may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist. The latest recall affects ‘04-‘05 and some ‘06, ‘08 and ‘09 Chevrolet Malibu models, ’04-’05 and some ’06 Malibu Maxx models, non-turbocharged ’09 and ’10 HHRs, some ’10 Cobalt models, ’08-’09 Saturn Aura models, every Saturn Ion and all ’05 along with certain ’06, ’08 and ’09 Pontiac G6 models.
Currently, the total number of cars GM has recalled in the last two months sits at 6.1 million. Along with the recalls announced yesterday, the automaker said it expects to lose up to $750 million in its first quarter earnings due to recall related repairs and expenses. It initially expected a hit of about $300 million, but the desire to make changes to its internal processes and to immediately resolve any future recall mishaps became the company’s primary focus, temporarily pushing the cost of the operation to the back-burner.
“With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right,” Jeff Boyer, vice president of Global Vehicle Safety at GM, said in a statement about the recalls.