Yesterday, GM announced that they will now be recalling another 3.16 million vehicles from their lineup. These recalls are necessary because of another ignition switch malfunction. Yes, that’s right; it’s basically the same deadly issue that was at the center of the GM cover-up earlier this year.
According to GM’s official press release, this latest batch of recalls was necessary because “the ignition switch may be unable to handle extra weight hanging on a slotted key.”
- The Buick Lacrosse… Model Year 2005-2009
- The Chevrolet Impala… Model Year 2006-2014
- The Cadillac Deville… Model Year 2000-2005
- The Cadillac DTS… Model Year 2007-2011
- The Buick Lucerne… Model Year 2006-2011
- The Buick Regal LS & GS… Model Year 2005
- The Chevy Monte Carlo… Model Year 2006-2008
GM says that it knows of eight crashes and six injuries that are tied to this latest ignition switch recall. In a review done by the New York Times, NHTSA records indicate customer complaints about these current recall vehicles stem all the way back to 2000. Some of the complaints found include:
“Complete electrical system and engine shutdown while driving. Happened three different times to date. Dealer is unable to determine cause of failure,” said another Deville driver in January 2001.
So why was this issue not handled way back when the complaints happened? Was it neglect or just another cover-up?
Well, in an investigative report done by former federal prosecutor Anton R. Valukas about the previous ignition switch controversy, Valukas writes, “G.M. personnel viewed the switch problem as a ‘customer convenience’ issue- something annoying but not particularly problematic- as opposed to the safety defect it was.”
According to those interviewed at G.M., the viewpoint was influenced by the fact that drivers were still able to maneuver the vehicles despite complete system shutdowns. Hey, I guess they thought the brakes were enough, right?
On Wednesday, GM’s Mary Barra will appear at the capital for the second time this year to answer more in-depth questions about the smorgasbord of 2014 recalls. Hopefully, this time we’ll get a few more answers than her first appearance.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Michigan, said in an official statement, “Has the company identified all potential problems? And has GM taken all necessary actions to fix the issues? We look to get answers directly from GM CEO Mary Barra and internal investigator Anton Valukas on Wednesday when they appear before the committee.”
No matter what happens at this hearing, though, it appears that the American public will not be swayed from their support of GM. Despite the record breaking recall year, GM’s sales numbers are still dominating. In fact, they just finished out the month of May with more American sales than any other company.