GM continues dealing with recall fallout - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

GM continues dealing with recall fallout

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

General Motors announcement on Wednesday that it had told dealers to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruzes only lasted for a few hours before the automaker rescinded the order. But it is a reminder of the string of safety issues facing the company.

For much of 2014, GM has been involved in various recalls starting on February 7 when the company initiated a recall on about 800,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles due to ignition switch problems. Another 600,000 Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky vehicles were added to the recall at the end of February.

Mary Barra, GM's CEO, pledged to conduct an internal interview into the ignition switch recall in early March, after concerns were raised within the auto community on whether General Motors had responded quickly enough to the problem.

Barra stated, "We will hold ourselves accountable and improve our processes so our customers do not experience this again."

Shortly following Barra's announcement, the Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into the recalls.

The end of March brought an expansion of the ignition switch recall to add another 824,000 cars sold in the U.S. between 2008 and 2011, after GM confirmed a thirteenth death caused by the ignition switch problems.

On April 1, Barra testified in a House subcommittee hearing that GM had hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg to explore ways to compensate victims of accidents connected to defective ignition switches in its small cars. At this point, the company had recalled 2.6 million cars sold worldwide.

GM dealers begin to make repairs in April on vehicles affected by the ignition switch recall.

On May 15, GM recalls three million more cars, due to a wiring problem. Most of these cars were built before the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, General Motors agreed to pay a $35 million fine to settle a federal probe into the 10-year delay of the ignition switch recall.

During the month of May, GM recalled another 2.4 million vehicles, including late model editions of the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, for faulty seatbelts and transmissions and 218,000 Chevy Aveos due to a risk of overheating and fires.

Six weeks after the dealers begin making repairs on the faulty ignition switch, only 2% of the recalled vehicles have been repaired.

General Motors released their findings from the internal probe into the delay of the ignition switch problem on June 5th. The report blamed a dysfunctional corporate structure and poor decisions by some employees for the crisis. Barra said she dismissed 15 employees and disciplined five more for their handling of the information. The company also announced plans to establish a fund to compensate the families of those who died, plus those injured in more than 50 crashes.

Another 3.36 million vehicles were recalled worldwide on June 16th for a problem the company has linked to eight crashes and six injuries. The new recall affects cars from model years 2000 through 2014. The ignition switch can move out of the run position, turning off power steering and power braking while the car is being driven. Some model years of the Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac Deville and DTS, Buick Lacrosse, Lucerne and Regal are included in this recall. GM said this was a different ignition switch and requires a different solution, than the original ignition switch recall.

That brought the total number of cars recalled by the company in 2014 to more than 20 million.

Two days later, Barra made her second appearance before the House subcommittee, enduring skepticism and some lecturing from lawmakers. Valley Congressman, Republican Bill Johnson asked Barra how key decision makers at GM did not know about the problem, "How does it break down that bad in a company that is publicly traded?" Barra responded,"It's unacceptable the way things broke down and that's why we've made dramatic process changes."

GM has blamed the faulty ignition switches for 13 deaths, but some claim up to 100 deaths associated with the problem. During the hearing it was also announced that the automaker is establishing a compensation fund for those killed or injured because of the switches.

On Wednesday, General Motors ordered Chevrolet dealers in the United States and Canada to stop delivery of new or used 2013-2014 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles until further notice due to a supplier quality issue in the airbags of 33,000 vehicles.

By nightfall, GM rescinded that order, leaving customers wondering when they'll learn more about the issues facing the Lordstown made cars.

 

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