By Jeff Gilbert

DETROIT (WWJ) – General Motors, which has been in the process of reviewing any safety issues with their vehicles, added five more recalls to what’s turning out to be a record year. That brings the total number of GM vehicles recalled this year to over 11 million.

“We are seeing a major house cleaning at General Motors, in terms of any quality issues they want to take care of,” says auto analyst Michelle Krebs.

GM is taking a look at every possible safety issue, Krebs says, and acting quickly.

“Mary Barra is making a statement that we’re going to take care of things right away. They just do not want to get caught in another situation like the ignition switch.”

The five recalls announced in the latest round include 2.7 million vehicles for a number of issues:

• 2,440,524 previous generation passenger cars for tail lamp malfunctions

• 103,158 previous generation Chevrolet Corvettes for loss of low-beam head lamps

• 140,067 Chevrolet Malibus from the 2014 model year for hydraulic brake booster malfunctions

• 19,225 Cadillac CTS 2013-2014 models for windshield wiper failures

• 477 full-size trucks from the 2014 and 2015 model years for a tie-rod defect that can lead to a crash

One incident covers the vast majority of vehicles being recalled. it effects 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Auras model cars in U.S., which are being recalled to modify the brake lamp wiring harness.

“Affected vehicles could have corrosion develop in the wiring harness for the body control module due to micro-vibration,” read a release from General Motors. “The condition could result in brake lamps failing to illuminate when the brakes are applied or brake lamps illuminating when the brakes are not engaged. Additionally, cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and panic braking assist operation could be disabled.”

GM says it’s aware of several hundred complaints, 13 crashes and two injuries but no fatalities as a result of the condition. This issue has been the subject of an earlier, smaller actions. The company issued a technical service bulletin in 2008 and conducted a safety campaign for a small population of 2005 model year vehicles in January 2009.

General Motors new vice president of Global Safety, Jeff Boyer, says they will react quickly when they find problems.

“We have redoubled our efforts to expedite and resolve current reviews in process and also have identified and analyzed recent vehicle issues which require action. These are examples of our focus to surface issues quickly and promptly take necessary actions in the best interest of our customers.”

GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately $200 million in the second quarter, primarily for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This follows a $1.3 billion charge that impacted their first quarter profits.

Boyer says they will spend what it takes to make sure their vehicles are safe.

“Customer safety is at the heart of how GM designs and produces vehicles, and these announcements are examples of two ways we are putting that into practice.”

This is turning into a record year for automotive recalls, and analyst Michelle Krebs points out it’s not even half over. So, it’s very likely we’ll see more big recall announcements from General Motors and other car makers.

“I’m sure they are going over everything with a fine tooth comb.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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