When General Motors’ ignition switch crisis and the subsequent safety recalls first came to light, CEO Mary Barra indicated some of the company’s issues were left over from Old GM’s bureaucratic ways. However a new report from Automotive News indicates 51 of GM’s 78 recalls this year are for 2014 or 2015 model year vehicles.
Twelve of GM’s recalls are for the current generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups, which were also recalled four times last year, making for a total of 15 recalls since their launch. AN says GM has recalled 2.5 million 2014 model year vehicles in the U.S., although some are counted multiple times as they are involved in more than one recall. Still, that’s equivalent to 86 percent of every car they’ve sold in the last 12 months.
On the surface it may seem as if GM’s quality control is getting worse, but the automaker has experienced gains in quality ratings and in public perception so far this year. Many of the 2014 and 2015 model-year recalls affect fewer than 1,000 vehicles and aren’t linked to complaints from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meaning they were issued as precautionary measures.
“They’re not all giant recalls,” Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies told AN. “but they clearly are still having some significant issues creep into their cars that you would hope they would have caught before making their way out into the marketplace.”
A recall issued for the passenger-side airbag in 2015 model year Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays was put in place before most of the affected cars had left the plant, while other recalls have affected models where the majority of them hadn’t left dealer lots. GM spokesman Alan Adler said the company will now “put the customer’s safety at the forefront,” of everything they do.
“So if we find a defect, we’ll move quickly to address it. If that means a recall, we’ll do a recall,” Adler said.
“GM has revamped practically all of its product safety practices and added dozens of product investigators this year by reassigning engineers from other functions. This allows more issues to be investigated more quickly with decisions on field actions sometimes made in hours instead of weeks.”