General Motors Co. has recalled 1.5 million vehicles for problems including engine compartment fires and airbag deployment failures. It says these recalls are unrelated to its ignition switch recall. GM will take a $300 million charge to cover recall-related expenses. The new recalls are the result of an internal safety review launched by GM following its recall of 1.6 million vehicles for the ignition switch defect, which can cause their engines to suddenly shut off and prevent their airbags from deploying.
The largest of the three separate recalls affects 1.18 million SUVs. The vehicles’ driver and passenger seat-mounted side airbags, front center airbags and seat belt pretensioners may not deploy in the event of a crash. According to GM, the vehicles’ “service airbag” warning light should alert drivers to the issue. This recall includes Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia vehicles from model years 2008 to 2013, Chevrolet Traverses from model years 2009 to 2013, and Saturn Outlooks from model years 2008 to 2010.
Nearly 64,000 Cadillac XTS sedans from model years 2013 and 2014 have been recalled in order to fix a brake booster pump problem that can lead to an engine compartment fire, overheating or the melting of plastic parts. The company said it was aware of two engine compartment fires in vehicles at dealerships and two cases of melted parts.
The third recall involves 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans from model years 2009 to 2014 with gross vehicle weights under 10,000 pounds. The vehicles do not comply with a requirement designed to protect passengers in crashes in which they are not wearing or become unmoored from their seatbelt. The $300 million charge against first-quarter earnings is primarily to pay for the ignition switch recall and the three new recalls, the company said.
The ignition switch recall, which came in two parts, includes Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky vehicles of varying model years from 2003 to 2007. GM has said the defect may have contributed to 13 deaths, but the Center for Auto Safety said that more than 300 fatalities trace back to airbag failures in the recalled models. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a criminal investigation into GM’s handling of the recall, and lawmakers in Congress have committed to holding hearings on the issue.
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