GM adds two new recalls, expands ignition switch recall

(March 29, 2014) DETROIT — General Motors issued two more safety recalls on Friday, covering 490,000 new full-sized pickups and SUVs as well as 172,000 Chevrolet Cruze models, bringing the total number of GM callbacks this month to six.

Neither of the latest moves is related to the ignition-switch recall that GM expanded earlier Friday to 2.2 million U.S. vehicles. That recall of six mid-2000s small-car models, including the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion, is now linked to 13 deaths and has led to a deepening crisis for GM.

The two recalls announced late Friday include the redesigned 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups and the just-launched 2015 Chevy Tahoe and Suburban and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The issue is a possible transmission line leak that could result in a fire.

GM said the trucks might have a transmission oil cooler line that is not securely seated in its fitting. That could cause transmission oil to leak from the fitting, drip onto a hot surface and start a vehicle fire.

GM also is recalling some 2013 and 2014 Cruzes with 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engines to replace a right front axle half shaft that can fracture and separate without warning during normal driving, the company said.

GM issued a stop-sale order to dealers for those models late Thursday without explanation. Dealerships that inspect the half shaft and fix any needed repairs can resume selling the cars in their inventory, GM spokesman Alan Adler said in an e-mail.

An interconnecting bar on the half shaft on some Cruzes “may not meet GM specification and could fracture and separate,” GM said. If that happens while driving, the vehicle would lose power to the wheels and coast to a stop but maintain steering and braking control, GM said.

Ignition switches

General Motors Friday said it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the U.S. since faulty switches may have been used to repair the vehicles.

The parts are at the center of the company’s recently announced ignition switch recall, which originally extended through the 2007 model year.  About 95,000 faulty switches were sold to dealers and aftermarket wholesalers. Of those, about 90,000 were used to repair older vehicles that were repaired before they were recalled in February.

Because it is not feasible to track down all the parts, the company is taking the extraordinary step of recalling 824,000 more vehicles in the U.S. to ensure that every car has a current ignition switch. GM is unaware of any reports of fatalities with this group of vehicles where a frontal impact occurred, the front air bags did not deploy and the ignition is in the “accessory” or “off” position.

As with the earlier recalls, if the torque performance is not to GM specification, the ignition switch may unintentionally move from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” positions, leading to a loss of power. The risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or if the vehicle goes off road or experiences some jarring event. The timing of the key movement out of the “run” position relative to when the sensing algorithm of a crash may result in the air bags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes.

Until the recall has been performed, customers are urged to remove all items, including the key fob, from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key.

“We are taking no chances with safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra.  “Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn’t practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years.

“We are going to provide our customers with the peace of mind they deserve and expect by getting the new switches into all the vehicles,” Barra said.

GM records indicate the service parts may have been used for ignition repairs in:

    2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts
    2008-2011 Chevrolet HHRs
    2008-2010 Pontiac Solstice
    2008-2010 Pontiac G5 and
    2008-2010 Saturn Sky

Owners who may have had a suspect part installed will receive a letter the week of April 21. GM dealers will replace their ignition switch free of charge as parts become available. Customers who paid to have their ignition switches replaced will be eligible for reimbursement.

Information on the ignition switch recall is available by clicking here

Sources: General Motors, Automotive News