Detroit: General Motors' safety crisis worsened when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles to its huge list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches.
The latest recalls involve mainly older mid-size cars and bring GM's total number of recalls this year to over 28 million. GM said it was aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving the vehicles recalled today. But the company said it has no conclusive evidence that faulty switches caused the crashes.
The Detroit company also said it plans to take a $1.2 billion charge in the second quarter for recall-related expenses. Added to a $1.3 billion charge in the first quarter, that brings total recall expenses for the year to $2.5 billion.
The latest recalls cover seven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005 and the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008. The recalls also cover a newer model, the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS. GM said the recalls are for “unintended ignition key rotation”.
CEO Mary Barra said the recalls stem from an extensive safety review within the company.
“If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation,” she said in a statement.
GM is urging people to remove everything from their key rings until the recalled cars can be repaired.
It also announced four other recalls today covering more than 200,000 additional vehicles. Most are to fix an electrical short in the driver's door that could disable the power locks and windows and even cause overheating.
The announcement temporarily halted trading of GM stock yesterday afternoon, but it resumed in about a half hour and was down 1.2 per cent to $36.19.