General Motors – facing intense scrutiny over its handling of an ignition switch recall – has recalled a further 1.76 million vehicles overnight to address three new unrelated defects.
The first affects more than one million 2008-2010 Buick Enclave (pictured top), GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse and Saturn Outlook SUVs with defective side airbags wiring; the second relates to more than 300,000 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans that require new instrument panel material that meets safety requirements; and the third affects more than 60,000 2013-2014 Cadillac XTS sedans with defective brake boosters that can start an engine compartment fire.
The recall does not affect any GM vehicles sold in Australia.
GM CEO Mary Barra said the latest trio of recalls was the result of an increased focus on addressing safety concerns of its vehicles.
“I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” Barra said.
“Today’s announcement underscores the focus we’re putting on the safety and peace of mind of our customers. We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes and will have more developments to announce as we move forward.”
The recalls and Barra’s statement comes as GM faces heavy criticism – as well as an investigation by US safety regulators, forthcoming congressional hearings and a potential US Department of Justice criminal inquiry – for its slow response to the ignition switch defect.
Announced last month, the recall affects 1.6 million small cars and has been linked to the deaths of 12 people. The defective ignition switch can cause airbags to not deploy in a crash.
The recall affects certain Saturn Ion (pictured above) and Sky, Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, and Pontiac G5, Pursuit and Solstice small cars produced between 2003 and 2007.
While announcing an expansion of the recall late last month, GM North America president Alan Batey said the manufacturer was “deeply sorry” for its reaction to the safety issue.
“The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been,” Batey said.
The cost of the repairs has been estimated at less than US$100 million ($110m), though that figure will likely be dwarfed by an impending wave of lawsuits and damage to the company’s reputation. GM’s shares plummeted almost 10 per cent last week.