General Motors has added 1.5 million vehicles to its recalls yesterday and publicly acknowledged that it fell short in catching faulty ignition switches linked to 12 deaths.
GM chief executive Mary Barra issued a statement to her GM employees saying, “Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened,” according to Reuters. Barra also apologized for the company’s failure to catch the faulty ignition switches and acknowledged that the company is now changing its practices in handling defect investigations and recalls.
Since the first series of recalls two months ago, GM has recalled more than 3.1 million vehicles globally. The initial recall, which included 1.6 million vehicles, was prompted by evidence of faulty ignition switches. The latest recall includes more than 1.5 million newer crossover utility vehicles, luxury sedans, and full-sized vans because of faulty airbag wiring, brake parts, and other defective components.
Because this recall encompasses models nearly a decade old that should have seemingly been recalled much sooner than this year, GM is now under criminal and civil investigations, and faces congressional hearings and class-action lawsuits in both the United States and in Canada. The major question remains though: Why did GM take so long to address a problem that came to its attention in 2001?
GM is in negotiations with Delphi Automotive, the company that supplies GM cars’ ignition switches, to supply a second line for replacement parts. Barra stated that customers will receive a detailed notice by mail during the second week of April.
According to Reuters, the latest recalls include 1.18 million mid-sized crossovers to repair an issue that could lead to the non-deployment of side airbags. It said it will repair the wiring harness of seat-mounted side airbags.
Affected are some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia crossovers, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverses and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlooks. Most of the vehicles were sold in the United States, but some are in Canada and Mexico.
303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans are also being recalled to replace plastic material in the passenger instrument panel to meet federal head-impact crash standards for unbelted passengers, a spokesman for GM said.
Affected are vans from model years 2009 through 2014 that are rated to carry up to 10,000 pounds including the vehicle’s own weight. The majority of these vehicles were sold in the United States, and were also sold in Canada, Mexico and other markets.
In the XTS, a brake booster pump wiring issue can lead to overheating, melting of plastic parts and a possible engine compartment fire, the spokesman said. There were two reports of fires in unsold cars on dealer lots in June and September last year as well as two cases of melted components.
Affected are 63,900 of the 2013 and 2014 luxury sedans, mostly in the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico and a small number in the Middle East, the spokesman said.
CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
Last Friday, March 14, GM was served the first U.S. class action lawsuit related to the ignition-switch recall. According to Reuters, the suit was filed in Texas; consumers alleged their vehicles have lost value because of the ignition switch problem.
In addition to facing class action lawsuits, GM is also facing potential products liability lawsuits by consumers who have been injured as a result of their defective vehicles. Those who have been injured as a result of a defective automobile or automobile parts are encouraged to contact an experienced Products Liability Attorney to discuss their legal options.
At the law offices of Altman & Altman we have decades of experience successfully handling all types of products liability and defective products cases, and we stand ready to pursue every legal avenue possible to achieve a successful settlement for your case. Call or email our office today to schedule a case review with one of our attorneys today. All initial consultations are completely free of charge and our team of lawyers is available around the clock to answer any question you may have about your case.
Read the full original article by Reuters here.