Most of vehicles being recalled for deadly ignition-switch defect
General Motors Co. is recalling another 8.4 million North American vehicles -- mostly for another deadly ignition-switch defect -- in yet another development that broadens the automaker's safety crisis.
GM said the latest round of recalls brings the total for the year to 28.9 million vehicles, more than the company has sold in the past three years combined. Some of the defects involved in Monday's recalls could be connected to three deaths and eight injuries in seven crashes.
The company said recall expenses would total $1.2 billion for the second quarter, up from $700 million -- and enough to raise questions whether GM will report a loss for the period despite the strongest sales in the United States since 2007.
The New York Stock Exchange halted trading on the company's shares after a news release was issued, stopping trading at 2:26 p.m. EDT. When trading resumed about a half-hour later, GM stock dipped slightly but remained stable.
The news comes on the same day GM crash fund compensation director Ken Feinberg announced plans to offer settlements to victims of another ignition switch defect, mostly in 2003 through 2007 cars, that has been linked to at least 13 deaths and has spawned government investigations.
The new recalls affect a range of vehicles from the 1997 to 2014 model years.
They include the 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu, the 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrique, the 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero, the 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am, the 2000-05 Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, the 2004-08 Pontiac Grand Prix, the 2004-06 Cadillac SRX and 2003-14 Cadillac CTS -- about 8.2 million vehicles in total for "unintended ignition key rotation," GM said in a statement.
The company has said that it expects its recall deluge to be mostly complete by the end of the second quarter on Monday, but investors and consumers will wonder.
"We undertook what I believe is the most comprehensive safety review in the history of our company because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers," GM CEO Mary Barra said. "Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles. That has hardened my resolve to set a new industry standard for vehicle safety, quality and excellence."
Former GM ignition switch engineer Ray DeGiorgio, who was among 15 people fired for their role in the previous defect, was also involved in the design of some, but not all of the newly recalled cars.
Monday's recalls also affect 188,705 units of the 2005-07 Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x, as well as the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL -- all for an electrical short in the driver's door module.