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  1. General Motors has ordered a recall on 1.4 million older vehicles equipped with the 3.8L V6 for a fire risk again. The affected vehicles include, 1997 - 2004 Buick Regal 2000 - 2004 Chevrolet Impala 1998 - 1999 Chevrolet Lumina 1998 - 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1998 - 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue 1997 - 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix The problem deals with valve covers that degrade and can leak oil. The leaking oil can fall onto the exhaust manifold under hard braking and catch fire. Now the Detroit News reports this is the fourth time that GM recalled vehicles with this problem since 2008. GM says the previous recalls haven't worked because of the "aging and wear to the valve cover and valve cover gasket". Now the bad news is that GM hasn't figured out a fix for this problem. But in the meantime, they are contacting owners about this problem. Source: The Detroit News, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 General Motors is recalling 1,283,340 older sedans and coupes in the U.S. from the 1997 to 2004 model years because drops of oil may be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold through hard braking, which can cause engine compartment fires. GM is working on a remedy. The company is aware of post-repair fires in some vehicles but no crashes or fatalities. There have been 19 reported minor injuries over the last six years. These vehicles with 3.8-liter V6 3800 engines are affected: 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total population is 1,411,332.General Motors is recalling 1,283,340 older sedans and coupes in the U.S. from the 1997 to 2004 model years because drops of oil may be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold through hard braking, which can cause engine compartment fires. GM is working on a remedy. The company is aware of post-repair fires in some vehicles but no crashes or fatalities. There have been 19 reported minor injuries over the last six years. These vehicles with 3.8-liter V6 3800 engines are affected: 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total population is 1,411,332.
  2. General Motors has issued a recall for 3,296 pickups and SUVs for a problem for the ignition switch. The Associated Press reports that the key in the switch can get stuck in the "start" position and then slip to "accessory" if bumped. This is due to the lock gears in the ignition have a larger diameter than the specifications allow. If this happens, this will cause the loss of power assistance to the brakes and steering, along with possibility of no airbag deployment. This seems very familiar to another ignition switch problem on older GM compacts last year. The models affected include, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty 2015 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 2015 Chevrolet Suburban Unlike the recall last year which caused GM to pay a large amount in fines due to the problem being kept under wraps, this one was quickly identified. The AP says an employee had this problem and notified officials at the automaker via the Speak Up for Safety program. GM found five other cases of this fault, but no injuries or deaths were reported. GM says in a statement that dealers will replace the ignition-lock housing on the affected models. Source: Associated Press via The Detroit News, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Statement General Motors is recalling 3,073 full-size trucks from the 2014 and 2015 model years in the U.S. Some of these vehicles may have an ignition lock actuator gear with an outer diameter that exceeds specifications, which may make turning the ignition key difficult. The ignition key could get stuck in the "start" position. This may be more likely at higher interior ambient temperatures. If the vehicle is driven with the key stuck in the "start" position, and the vehicle experiences a significant jarring event or the vehicle's interior temperature cools, the ignition lock cylinder could move out of the "start" position, rotate past the "run" position, and move into the "accessory" position, leading to loss of power steering assist, power brakes and potentially air bag deployment in certain crashes. Dealers will replace the ignition lock housing. The affected vehicles are the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LD, and GMC Sierra LD models and 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD, Suburban, Tahoe, and 2015 GMC Sierra HD. GM is aware of five shutoffs but no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total recall population is 3,296.
  3. Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller told a German publication that it would launch a recall for diesel vehicles that have emission-cheating software starting in January and hopefully finish up fixing all of the vehicles by the end of the year. "If all goes according to plan, we can start the recall in January. All the cars should be fixed by the end of 2016," Mueller told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Now it should be noted this is only for vehicles in Europe. A Volkswagen of America spokeswoman says the EPA has to agree to the fix that Volkswagen would present. No timetable was given as to when a fix would be announced. Muller said a number of vehicles could be fixed by a software update, while others will need new injectors or larger catalytic converters. Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung via Reuters, CNN Money
  4. While General Motors has gotten most of the blame in the ignition switch fiasco, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn't getting away scot free. The New York Times reports that the Department of Transportation released two internal documents revealing a series of failings by NHTSA. One of those failings was the administration not paying sufficient attention to a Wisconsin state trooper’s report in 2007 which suggested that the ignition switch played a key role in a fatal accident. The reports go on to say that NHTSA didn't use their full power to hold GM accountable in terms of this problem. “There needs to be a complete overhaul of this failing agency. The results of this report are long overdue,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). NHTSA has begun to make a number of changes in light of these reports. They include, Put manufacturers “on notice” about potential defects as soon they identified any troubling cases. Institute a 'Risk Control' program that better aligns different sections of NHTSA and encourage more sharing Be monitored by a group of outside experts including former officials of the National Transportation Safety Board and NASA “The G.M. experience changed the culture here. What that means is challenge the information you’re getting, and challenge the assumptions you are pursuing,” said NHTSA administrator Mark R. Rosekind. Still some people believe NHTSA needs to go farther. “It still soft-pedals why they have gone from one defect crisis to another,” said Sean E. Kane of the consulting firm Safety Research and Strategies. “What is missing is any mention of the importance of transparency.” Source: The New York Times
  5. Next month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be holding a public hearing to probe Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' handling of 20 different recalls covering 11 million vehicles since 2013. The agency is concerned about the completion rates and other issues on these recalls. But FCA believes this hearing should be skipped. In a 19-page response to questions from NHTSA that was released yesterday, the company argues that its overall recall completion rate is "nearly the best in the industry, with 77 percent. The response goes onto state that they are compliant with existing regulations and are in the process of implementing new programs to improve their completion rate. FCA says their way “to review and identify with NHTSA input, and implement changes based on the learnings obviate the need for a hearing.” But NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind tells The Detroit News that the hearing is still on. “Twenty recalls are a problem — 10 million vehicles. There’s a pattern here of things we’re concerned about. And they weren’t just little things — they were big things including major safety issues related to fire, door latches that could open up when people were driving. It’s not just, ‘Oh, they were late on something.’ If they didn’t start, it was late, it means all that time people are at risk. And they told us something different,” said Rosekind. Source: The Detroit News
  6. While Takata has agreed to declare its airbags in nearly 34 million vehicles defective yesterday, a new report from Bloomberg says the supplier changed the design to reduce the risk of abnormal deployment back in 2008. Sources tell Bloomberg that Takata changed the propellant mix to help reduce the effect of humidity - what many believe to be the cause of problem - around the same time that Honda announced that it would be replacing airbags in some of their models. This new information could shine a light on one of the biggest mysteries on Takata's airbags. The company has said time and time again that its current products are safe, but didn't say why. It should be noted many of the vehicles involved in the recall were built before 2008. The report goes onto say that a select group of people - including government officials - were told about the change. Source: Bloomberg
  7. After months of pressure from the U.S. Government and a number of recalls from automakers, Japanese supplier Takata agreed to declare that its airbag inflators in nearly 34 million vehicles are defective. The announcement was made today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at a press conference. “Up until now Takata has refused to acknowledge that their airbags are defective, That changes today,” said Foxx. The problem with Takata's airbags deals with propellant exploding with too much force and sends dangerous metal fragments flying. This problem has been linked to 6 deaths and more than 100 injuries. Scarily, the root cause of the problem hasn't been found at this time - though officials link the problem to high humidity and moisture exposure. The Detroit News reports that Takata will announce that it has filed 4 defect reports with U.S. auto safety officials stating that 33.8 million vehicles have defective driver and passenger air bag inflators. This is double the amount vehicles already recalled by automakers since 2013. It could mean that this air bag problem could mark the largest U.S. recall of any consumer product, since the Tylenol poison scare in 1982. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News
  8. Toyota is recalling 482,000 Prius and Lexus CT 200h models for an issue with the side curtain airbags. According to Toyota, the hybrids use air bag inflators composed of two chambers welded together. Some vehicles may have a crack where the weld is. Over time, the crack can grow and cause the pieces to separate. "If an inflator separates, the CSA could partially inflate, and, in limited circumstances, one or both sections of the inflator could enter the interior of the vehicle," the company said in a statement. The models involved include, 2010 - 2012 Lexus CT 200h 2010 - 2012 Toyota Prius 2010 - 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In The fix involves dealers installing retention brackets on the inflators to prevent it from entering the vehicle. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Recalls Certain Prius and Lexus CT Vehicles PLANO, Texas, June 28, 2016 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it is conducting a safety recall of approximately 482,000 Model Year 2010 - 2012 Prius; 2010 and 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrids and 2011 and 2012 Lexus CT 200h vehicles. The involved vehicles are equipped with curtain shield air bags (CSA) in the driver and passenger side roof rails that have air bag inflators composed of two chambers welded together. Some inflators could have a small crack in the weld area joining the chambers, which could grow over time, and lead to the separation of the inflator chambers. This has been observed when the vehicle is parked and unoccupied for a period of time. If an inflator separates, the CSA could partially inflate, and, in limited circumstances, one or both sections of the inflator could enter the interior of the vehicle. If an occupant is present in the vehicle, there is an increased risk of injury. All known owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota and Lexus dealers will install retention brackets on the curtain shield air bag inflators at no cost. These retention brackets are designed to prevent the inflator chambers from entering the vehicle interior if separation occurs. Information about automotive recalls, including but not limited to the list of involved vehicles, is subject to change over time. For the most up-to-date Safety Recall information on Lexus, Toyota and Scion customers should check their vehicle’s status by visiting http://www.toyota.com/recall and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Safety Recall inquiry by individual VIN is also available at the NHTSA site: safercar.gov/vin. For any additional questions, customer support is also available by calling Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987.
  9. A number of German automakers are recalling a number of diesel vehicles to tweak the engine management software to produce less nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Reuters reports that Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Porsche, and Volkswagen have agreed to recall 630,000 diesel vehicles to tweak engine management software. The software in question can turn off emission treatment systems to improve engine performance and increase the services interval. Is it legal? Yes, thanks to a legal loophole that allows automakers to throttle back emission treatment systems in certain situations to protect engines. This was discovered in various European emission tests. In light of the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal, environmental groups and regulators aren't too pleased with automakers using this loophole. In fact, the German motor transport authority (KBA) has questioned whether this loophole could be fully justified. Source: Reuters
  10. General Motors today announced another set of recalls that covers over 500,000 vehicles, The first and largest recall is for the Chevrolet Camaro from the 2010-2014 model year due to the key fob being accidentally hit by a driver's knee and causing the key to move out of the move position. GM says this isn't a problem with the ignition switch, but with the key fob itself. GM also said that it is aware of three accidents where the key fob was the problem. A total of 511,508 Camaros worldwide will get a separate ignition key and fob to fix this problem. Dealers have been told to stop selling Camaros for the timebeing. The other recalls issued by GM include: 28,789 Saab 9-3 Convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years for a cable in the driver's side seat belt tensioner that could break, causing the seat belt not to retract. Dealers will replace the tensioner, while GM will issue a lifetime warranty on the passenger side tensioner. 21,567 Chevrolet Sonics from the 2012 model year equipped with the 1.8L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. A transmission shaft can fail, causing a transmission problems, some of which could be sudden. Dealers will install a new shaft. 14,765 Buick LaCrosses from the 2014 model year for a wiring splice in the driver’s door may corrode and break, allowing someone to operate the power windows and sunroof when key is no where near the vehicle. Dealers will inspect the wiring harness and if need be, replace the splice. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Proactively Announces Four New Recalls DETROIT – General Motors will recall all current generation Chevrolet Camaros because a driver’s knee can bump the key FOB and cause the key to inadvertently move out of the “run” position, with a corresponding reduction or loss of power. The issue, which may primarily affect drivers sitting close to the steering column, was discovered by GM during internal testing following the ignition switch recall earlier this year. “Discovering and acting on this issue quickly is an example of the new norm for product safety at GM,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Safety. The Camaro ignition system meets all GM engineering specifications and is unrelated to the ignition system used in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars included in the ignition switch recall. GM is aware of three crashes that resulted in four minor injuries that it believes may be attributed to this condition. The company will change the Camaro key to a standard design from one in which the key is concealed in the FOB and is opened by pushing a button. The change will make the ignition key and FOB independent of each other, so that inadvertent contact with the FOB won’t move the key from the “run” position. There are 464,712 Camaros from the 2010-2014 model years in the U.S. included in the recall. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total recall population is 511,528. Separately, GM also announced two safety recalls and one non-compliance recall involving a total of 65,121 cars in the U.S. all three of which were reported to the NHTSA on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total recall population is 69,839. In all cases, customers will receive letters from GM letting them know when they can bring their vehicles into a dealership, where the recall repairs will be performed free of charge and courtesy transportation would be provided as needed. The recalls: 28,789 Saab 9-3 convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years for an automatic tensioning system cable in the driver’s side front seat belt retractor that could break. If the cable were to break, seat belt webbing spooled out by the driver would not retract. The convertibles and sedans were investigated at the same time, but the convertible parts were not identical to the sedan parts. GM has since learned of customer complaints to the NHTSA for the convertibles. Dealers will replace the driver’s side retractor in the recalled vehicles. In addition, GM has issued a special coverage, so that if the same repair is required to the passenger side retractor it will be covered for the life of the vehicle. GM also extended the special coverage for passenger side belt retractors on the 2004 Saab 9-3 sedan from the original 10-year coverage to the life of the vehicle, like the convertibles. GM is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities due to this condition. 21,567 Chevrolet Sonic 2012 model year compacts equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine for a condition in which the transmission turbine shaft may fracture as a result of a supplier quality issue. If this were to occur in first or second gear, the vehicle could not upshift into third through sixth gears. If the turbine shift fractured while in one of the higher gears, the vehicle would coast until it was moving slow enough to downshift into first or second gear. In both instances, a malfunction indicator lamp may illuminate. If driven in this condition for a long period of time, all forward gears may become inoperable. The engine would continue to run and all power accessories would function. Dealers will replace the transmission turbine shaft. GM is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition. 14,765 model year 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedans because a wiring splice in the driver’s door may corrode and break. That may communicate incorrect information to circuits that control the door chime and allow passenger windows, rear windows and the sunroof to function when the vehicle is turned off and the driver is not in the vehicle. In addition, a chime will not sound when the driver’s door is opened if the key is in the ignition. Dealers will inspect the driver door window motor harness and, if necessary, replace an electrical splice. GM is unaware of any thefts, crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.
  11. Ray DeGiorgio, the General Motors engineer who was called out during the GM ignition switch hearing and subsequently suspended, spoke with congressional investigators earlier this month. The New York Times reports that DeGiorgio talked with investigators for ten hours on May 19th about his involvement in the ignition switch recall. As you might recall, DeGiorgio was the engineer who signed off on a change to the ignition switch in certain GM vehicles. However during testimony in a wrongful death suit, DeGiorgio claimed he didn't remember authorizing any change to the ignition switch. During his questioning with investigators, DeGiorgio appeared “genuinely upset” according to a house aide. “He came across as if he was just overburdened and just missed it,” said the aide. DeGiorgio said that he forgot that he signed off on the change for the ignition switch because it was a part of of a package of changes, and that seven years had passed from the time he signed off to testifying. DeGiorgio also didn't give any information that indicated that GM CEO Mary Barra knew about this problem before she took on her new role earlier this year. Source: New York Times William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. General Motors has agreed to pay a $35 million fine over its handling of the ignition switch recall. This amount represents the maximum fine issued by the Government. "Safety is our top priority, and today's announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx. The ignition switch recall covers 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice, Saturn Ion, and Sky models built from the 2005 to 2011 model years. This problem is linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths. "No excuse, process, or organizational structure will be allowed to stand in the way of any company meeting their obligation to quickly find and fix safety issues in a vehicle," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "It's critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers promptly report and remedy safety-related defects that have the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation's highways." As part of the agreement, GM will also, Share results of the internal probe into why the recalls were delayed with NHTSA Make "significant and wide-ranging" changes to how it finds defects and announces recalls Work on increasing efforts to contact owners of the affected vehicles about the problem Pay an additional amount of money to the Government for withholding information “We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety. We will emerge from this situation a stronger company,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a press release. Source: General Motors, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM Signs Consent Order with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has come to an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to report in a timely manner the ignition switch defect. As part of this agreement, GM will pay a $35 million fine. “We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “We will emerge from this situation a stronger company.” Working with NHTSA, GM has already begun reviewing processes and policies to avoid future recalls of this nature. “We are working hard to improve our ability to identify and respond to safety issues,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of Global Vehicle Safety, who is assigned to integrate safety policies across the company. “Among other efforts, GM has created a new group, the Global Product Integrity unit, to innovate our safety oversight; we are encouraging and empowering our employees to raise their hands to address safety concerns through our Speak Up for Safety initiative, and we have set new requirements for our engineers to attain Black Belt certification through Design for Six Sigma.” Having signed this agreement, GM now has its sights set on effectively serving customers and completing the ignition switch recall. “GM’s ultimate goal is to create an exemplary process and produce the safest cars for our customers – they deserve no less,” said Barra. U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Record Fines, Unprecedented Oversight Requirements in GM Investigation Friday, May 16, 2014 General Motors agrees to pay maximum $35 million penalty for violating federal safety laws in Chevrolet Cobalt investigation WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a record $35 million civil penalty and to take part in unprecedented oversight requirements as a result of findings from NHTSA's timeliness investigation regarding the Chevrolet Cobalt and the automaker's failure to report a safety defect in the vehicle to the federal government in a timely manner. The defect resulted in the non-deployment of airbags in certain Chevrolet Cobalt and other GM models. This action represents the single highest civil penalty amount ever paid as a result of a NHTSA investigation of violations stemming from a recall. As part of today's agreement, set forth in a Consent Order signed with NHTSA, the agency also ordered GM to make significant and wide-ranging internal changes to its review of safety-related issues in the United States, and to improve its ability to take into account the possible consequences of potential safety-related defects. GM will also pay additional civil penalties for failing to respond on time to the agency's document demands during NHTSA's investigation. "Safety is our top priority, and today's announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx. "While we will continue to aggressively monitor GM's efforts in this case, we also urge Congress to support our GROW AMERICA Act, which would increase the penalties we could levy in cases like this from $35 million to $300 million, sending an even stronger message that delays will not be tolerated." Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining that a safety-related defect exists or that a vehicle is not in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards and to promptly conduct a recall. GM admits in the Consent Order that it did not do so. Today's action is historic in that the provisions of the Consent Order will be immediately enforceable in federal court if GM does not fully comply. The Consent Order will hold GM accountable, push the automaker to make needed institutional change, and ensure that replacement parts are produced quickly and recalled vehicles are repaired promptly. "No excuse, process, or organizational structure will be allowed to stand in the way of any company meeting their obligation to quickly find and fix safety issues in a vehicle," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "It's critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers promptly report and remedy safety-related defects that have the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation's highways." In the Consent Order, GM agreed to provide NHTSA with full access to the results of GM's internal investigation into this recall, to take steps to ensure its employees report safety-related concerns to management, and to speed up the process for GM to decide whether to recall vehicles. The Consent Order also requires GM to notify NHTSA of changes to its schedule for completing production of repair parts by October 4. GM must also take steps to maximize the number of vehicle owners who bring in their vehicles for repair, including targeted outreach to non-English speakers, maintaining up-to-date information on its website, and engaging with vehicle owners through the media. The Consent Order requires GM to submit reports and meet with NHTSA so that the agency may monitor the progress of GM's recall and other actions required by the consent order. Both in 2007 and again in 2010, NHTSA reviewed data related to the non-deployment of airbags in certain Chevy Cobalt models but each time, determined that it lacked the data necessary to open a formal investigation. However, on February 7, 2014, GM announced it would recall certain model vehicles for a defect where the vehicle's ignition switch may unintentionally move out of the "run" position that could result in the air bag not deploying in the event of a crash. GM had failed to advise NHTSA of this defect at the time of the agency's earlier reviews. After review and consultation by NHTSA, GM twice expanded the recall to include a total of 2,190,934 vehicles in the United States. The GM recall covers the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky vehicles. Over the past ten years, NHTSA defect investigations resulted in 1,299 recalls involving more than 95 million vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment, which has helped the agency to reduce vehicle fatalities to historic, all-time lows. Including today's consent order, the agency has obtained record fines of $124.5 million in the last five years from automakers who have failed to promptly report defects to NHTSA.
  13. Another week, another set of recalls from General Motors. The company announced today that it's recalling a total of 2.7 million in five different recall campaigns that cover eight different models. Here are the recalls: A total of 2.4 million vehicles that include the 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6, and 2007-2010 Saturn Aura for a faulty control module. The module could cause tail lights to either not turn turn on when the brakes are applied or turn on all by themselves. Other items such as the cruise control, traction control, stability control, and panic braking assist may be affected. 111,889 Chevrolet Corvettes from the 2005-2007 model years are being recalled due to the loss of low-beam headlights because of a fail due to a bent wire. 2008-2013 Corvettes appear to have this same problem, but are not part of the safety recall. They'll get an extended warranty. 140,067 Chevrolet Malibus from the 2014 model year and equipped with the 2.5L four-cylinder are being recalled due to the hydraulic brake booster failing and causing a driver to put more pressure on the brake pedal to stop the vehicle. 19,225 Cadillac CTS from the 2013-2014 model year where the wiper motor could break if the vehicle is being jumpstarted and there is ice or snow on the windshield. 477 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra from the 2014 model year, and the Chevrolet Tahoe from the 2015 model year for a manufacturing defect that could cause the front tie rod and steering gear to fail, leading to a crash. Owners are being ask to have their vehicles towed in. “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,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. “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.” Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Announces Five Safety Recalls 2014-05-15 DETROIT – General Motors said Thursday it has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of five safety recalls covering about 2.7 million vehicles in the United States. The recalls cover: - 2,440,524 previous generation passenger cars for taillamp malfunctions - 111,889 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 "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," said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. "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." The largest recall involves 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Auras model cars in U.S. 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. 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 is aware of several hundred complaints, 13 crashes and two injuries but no fatalities as a result of the condition. 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. The second safety recall covers 111,889 Chevrolet Corvettes from the 2005-2007 model years for potential loss of low-beam headlamp operation Models from 2008-2013 will be covered under a Customer Satisfaction Program. All repairs will be at no cost to customers. When the engine is warm, the underhood electrical center housing could expand, causing the headlamp low-beam relay control circuit wire to bend slightly. After the wire is repeatedly bent, it can fracture and separate. When this occurs, the low-beam headlamps will not illuminate. As the housing cools and contracts, the low-beam headlamp function may return. This condition does not affect the high-beam headlamps, marker lamps, turn signals, daytime running lamps or fog lamps. Loss of low beam headlamps when they are required could reduce the driver's visibility, increasing the risk of a crash. GM is aware of several hundred complaints as result of the condition but no crashes, injuries or fatalities. The third recall covers 140,067 Chevrolet Malibus from the 2014 model year with 2.5L engines and stop/start technology. These vehicles are subject to the disabling of hydraulic brake boost that can require greater pedal efforts and extended stopping distances. Dealers will reprogram the electronic brake control module. The issue was discovered in testing of a future model with similar technology. GM is aware of four crashes but it is not clear that these are related to the condition. No injuries are known from those crashes. The fourth recall covers 19,225 Cadillac CTS from the 2013-2014 model year for a condition in which the windshield wiper system may become inoperable after a vehicle jump start with wipers active and restricted, such as by ice and snow. Potential lack of visibility could increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the front wiper module free of charge. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries due to the condition. The fifth recall involves certain 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light duty pickups and 2015 model year Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs. The tie rod threaded attachment to the steering gear rack in these vehicles may not be tightened to specification. With this condition, the tie rod can separate from the steering rack and a crash could occur without prior warning. Customers are being contacted and told to have their vehicles taken by flatbed to their dealer, where the inner tie rods will be inspected for correct torque, and, if necessary, the steering gear will be replaced. The repair procedure was being sent to dealers and owner letters sent by overnight mail to customers on May 14. The issue was discovered and corrected during assembly after the small number of vehicles was released. 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.
  14. Two U.S. Senators are calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to urge owners of General Motors vehicles involved in the ignition switch recall to stop driving them until they are fixed. Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urging him to ask owners to stop driving their vehicles. "GM has indicated that it could take until October, 2014, before it can complete all the needed repairs. Every day that unrepaired vehicles remain on the road increases the risk of more injuries, deaths and damage," the two senators wrote. But there comes a problem with this. Earlier this month, GM began to send out the replacement parts to dealers to fix the affected vehicles. However with 2.6 million vehicles that need to be repaired, it will take months for the company to fix them. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. Just when you thought General Motors couldn't dig any deeper with the ignition switch recall, they seem to find a way. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee released over 600 pages of documents relating to the GM ignition switch recall early this week and it shows a number of deeply entrenched problems. Let's begin with a story we reported last week that said two engineers from GM, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio were put on paid leave. We knew DeGiorgio was put on paid leave for testifying for not knowing the part change, even though he signed a document authorizing the change. But Altman was another question as we didn't know why he was put on paid leave. We now know that Altman was the engineer who bumped the key with his knee thanks to a complaint document filed in 2004. However, Altman was the one testified at the wrongful death trial of Brooke Melton that he did not feel the car was unsafe. Altman was also the one who rejected a fix for the switch because it was expensive and take too long. The documents also highlight that a number of GM employees tried to thwart an in-house investigationby Brian Stouffer, an investigator with GM. Bloomberg says the documents reveal a paper trail of pushback, inaccurate data and a lack of cooperation from co-workers into the ignition switch. One of the big question Stouffer was looking into was why airbag issues dropped after 2008. We know now that it was because GM had changed the part, but not the number. NHTSA was starting to suspect something was back in 2007. In a presentation on November 15, 2007, NHTSA's Defects Assessment Division (DAD) showed that the 2005 Cobalt had a higher than average airbag warranty than any other GM model. Then there is an email dated September 17 which says in one of the paragraphs, "Notwithstanding GM's indications that they see no specific problem pattern, DAD perceives a pattern of non-deployments in these vehicles that does not exist in their peers and that their circumstances are such that, in our engineering judgment, merited a deployment, and that such a deployment would have reduced injury levels or saved lives. NHTSA isn't impressed with GM's responses to their inquiries. In a email sent on July 23, 2013, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation chief Frank Borris wrote "The general perception is that GM is slow to communicate, slow to act, and at times, requires additional effort of ODI that we do not feel is necessary with some of your peers." This is a possible reason as to why NHTSA has started fining the company last week over their slow response to their questions. Now it should be noted that Mike Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs said in email "comes like a bolt out of the blue.” That isn't only bad news hitting GM. Today, the company announced that two executives were stepping down. Selim Bingol, senior vice president of public policy and communications, and Melissa Howell, senior vice president for human resources, will “pursue other interests,” the company said in a statement. Bingol led GM’s public relations team since 2010 when he was appointed by then GM CEO Ed Whitacre. Howell has been with the company since 1990, and became Senior VP of HR last year. GM said Howell will be succeeded by John Quattrone, previously executive director of human resources for GM's global product development, purchasing, and supply chain operations. No successor has been named for Bingol at this time. Source: Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Names Quattrone Senior VP, Global Human Resources Howell and Bingol to pursue interests outside company DETROIT – General Motors today named John J. Quattrone as Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources. Quattrone, currently executive director of Human Resources for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain organizations, succeeds Melissa A. Howell who is leaving GM to pursue other interests. GM also announced that Selim Bingol, Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Public Policy, is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Quattrone's appointment, as well as Howell's and Bingol's departures are effective immediately. Quattrone, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., began his GM career in 1975 at the Fisher Body Syracuse Plant. Since then, he has held various positions in human resources and labor relations at GM. Quattrone was appointed General Director of Human Resources for North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing in September 1996. He was appointed GM North America¹s Vice President of Human Resources in 2001 and was GM Powertrain¹s Vice President of Human Resources prior to his current assignment. "John brings to the job a deep and rich breadth of experience across all levels of the enterprise," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "This background is invaluable as we create lasting change that puts the customer at the center of how we work and how we measure ourselves going forward." Quattrone received his Bachelor of Science degree from Le Moyne College and earned a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University. Quattrone serves on the board of directors of American Society of Employers and previously served on the board of directors of Health Grades, Inc. Barra praised Howell's contribution at a key time for the company. "Through Melissa's passion, the values that make up today's GM are now becoming a central part of how we develop and guide our employees around the world," said Barra. "We are deeply grateful for her dedication to GM and all that she did to help build a stronger HR function to support our people and business." Howell joined GM in 1990. She was named Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources in February 2013. Bingol was Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at AT&T before joining GM in 2010 as Senior Vice President Global Communications. Global Public Policy was added to Bingol's portfolio in October 2012. During his tenure, Bingol guided the communications around GM's 2010 initial public offering, the largest in history at that time, as well as the introduction of several new products that have received widespread acclaim for quality, styling, and performance. "We appreciate Selim's service and for his helping tell the GM story during one of the most exciting periods in the company's history," said Barra. A successor to Bingol will be named later.
  16. The last thing you want before testifying before the U.S. House is announcement of more vehicles being recalled. In the case of the General Motors, this is happening. The automaker announced this afternoon the recall of 1.3 million vehicles because of faulty electric power steering units. The units can fail with little or no warning; the steering system still works, but it takes more effort from a driver. The vehicles involved in this recall include, Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): Some model year 2009 and 2010 vehicles Chevrolet Malibu: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some 2006 model year Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles Saturn ION: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall The last item in this list is a key point to this recall. Back in 2010, GM issued a recall on Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s built in the 2010 model year for the same problem. But the company didn't issue it on Saturn Ions built with the same part.Yahoo's Motoramic found out that NHTSA received 846 complaints of power-steering loss in 2004 to 2007 Saturn Ions. The agency opened a probe into this and was able to replicate this in a test Ion. However, NHTSA never resolved the probe. To fix the power steering system issue, dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free. If you have paid to have these repairs done, GM will reimburse them. Owners of the HHR and Ion models from 2003 will get lifetime warranties for their power steering motors. Source: General Motors, Motoramic Press Release is on Page 2 GM Recalls Older Model Vehicles to Fix Power Steering DETROIT – General Motors informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today that it would recall more than 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist. If power steering assist is lost, a message displays on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds to inform the driver. Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering, but greater driver effort would be required at low vehicle speeds, which could increase the risk of a crash. Models subject to safety recall are the: Chevrolet Malibu: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some 2006 model year Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): Some model year 2009 and 2010 vehicles Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles Saturn ION: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall Depending on the vehicle, GM will replace free of charge either the power steering motor, the steering column, the power steering motor control unit or a combination of the steering column and the power steering motor control unit. Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts would be eligible for reimbursement. In addition, 309,160 non-turbocharged Chevrolet HHRs from the 2006-2008 model years (and several hundred 2009 models) and 96,324 Saturn IONs from the 2003 model year that are not subject to these recalls will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of the electronic power steering motor. "With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right," said Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM Global Vehicle Safety. "We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough." The 2004-2007 Saturn ION, the 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHR and the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt are included in previously announced recalls for ignition switches that may not meet GM specification for torque performance. Repairs for the ignition switch and power steering assist may require separate dealership visits depending on parts availability. GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately $750 million in the first quarter, primarily for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This amount includes a previously disclosed $300 million charge for three safety actions announced on March 17 and the ignition switch recall announced Feb. 25.
  17. Last night, General Motors announced that the ignition switch has been expanded to include an additional 824,000 vehicles. The vehicles include, 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt 2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR 2008-2010 Pontiac G5 2008-2010 Pontiac Solstice 2008-2010 Saturn Sky This brings the total number of vehicles involved in the recall to over 2.6 million vehicles. Like the previous recalls, GM is urging owners to remove all of their keys except the ignition key to prevent the switch from moving. GM said replacement parts will begin arriving at dealers starting on April 7th. "We are taking no chances with safety. Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn't practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years," said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. This isn't the only problem GM is going through at the moment. Reuters reports that repair shops can buy the ignition switch from Delphi involved in the recall. While the switches may not be defective thanks to a fix in 2007 which replaced the tenser spring, the only way to be sure is to either take it apart or check the manufacturing history. This is due to GM keeping the part number the same on the new part, a bit surprising to those who are in the know. "When you make a change, you change the part number so everybody understands what happened," said a former GM executive to Reuters. GM Spokesman Jim Cain said they company is looking into this matter. "We are in the process of responding to the very questions you are asking, per our pledge to be fully cooperative with NHTSA," said Cain. Source: General Motors, Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM Moves to Secure Recalled Ignition Switches 2014-03-28 824,000 models sold in the U.S. from 2008-2011 will get new ignition switch Parts return sought from aftermarket distributors DETROIT – General Motors today said it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the U.S. since faulty switches may have been used to repair the vehicles. The parts are at the center of the company's recently announced ignition switch recall, which originally extended through the 2007 model year. About 95,000 faulty switches were sold to dealers and aftermarket wholesalers. Of those, about 90,000 were used to repair older vehicles that were repaired before they were recalled in February. Because it is not feasible to track down all the parts, the company is taking the extraordinary step of recalling 824,000 more vehicles in the U.S. to ensure that every car has a current ignition switch. GM is unaware of any reports of fatalities with this group of vehicles where a frontal impact occurred, the front air bags did not deploy and the ignition is in the "accessory" or "off" position. As with the earlier recalls, if the torque performance is not to GM specification, the ignition switch may unintentionally move from the "run" position to the "accessory" or "off" positions, leading to a loss of power. The risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or if the vehicle goes off road or experiences some jarring event. The timing of the key movement out of the "run" position relative to when the sensing algorithm of a crash may result in the air bags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes. Until the recall has been performed, customers are urged to remove all items, including the key fob, from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key. "We are taking no chances with safety," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn't practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years. "We are going to provide our customers with the peace of mind they deserve and expect by getting the new switches into all the vehicles," Barra said. GM records indicate the service parts may have been used for ignition repairs in: 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts 2008-2011 Chevrolet HHRs 2008-2010 Pontiac Solstice 2008-2010 Pontiac G5 and 2008-2010 Saturn Sky Owners who may have had a suspect part installed will receive a letter the week of April 21. GM dealers will replace their ignition switch free of charge as parts become available. Customers who paid to have their ignition switches replaced will be eligible for reimbursement. Dealers, distributors and other parts customers will be told about the recall beginning March 31. Information on the ignition switch recall is available www.gmignitionupdate.com.
  18. Despite GM's recall of over 1.6 million vehicles due to faulty ignition switches, two new lawsuits allege that the company hasn't recalled them all. Bloomberg reports that one lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco's federal court states that faulty ignition switch problem is present in the 2010 Cobalt, a model that isn't in the current recall by GM. Another lawsuit filed in Alabama states that GM knew of defects with Cobalts built before April 2009 due in part to technical service bulletins issued to dealers. The TSBs stated that keys may "stick" or "bind" in the switch of non-recalled Cobalts and other vehicles. “We will not comment specifically on the suit or pending litigation. We are recalling all of the vehicles that were manufactured with the specific ignition switch involved in this condition,” said General Motors in a statement. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. Both the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee announced this week they would start investigations into General Motors' ignition switch recall. The recall which affects 1.62 million vehicles worldwide has been linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths. The Detroit News reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York is heading up the Justice Department's investigation. This is the office that has been investigating Toyota's unattended acceleration recall since 2010 to determine whether or not the company misled Government officials over claims of sudden acceleration. According to two people familiar with the matter, the office's office’s criminal division deputy chief has reached out to lawyers to gather information for a possible subpoena to GM. This is a possible sign to a preliminary investigation. When asked for comment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and GM declined. The other investigation is coming from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee who is looking into why General Motors failed to act quickly on this problem. “Significant questions need to be answered. Did the company or regulators miss something that could have flagged these problems sooner? If the answer is yes, we must learn how and why this happened, and then determine whether this system of reporting and analyzing complaints that Congress created to save lives is being implemented and working as the law intended,” said U.S. Representative Fred Upton, R-Michigan, chairman of the Committee. The committee is also looking into why National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ignored complaints over GM vehicles turning off via the faulty ignition switch. Source: The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. Another twist in the General Motors' ignition switch recall story. Automotive News reports that the company may have a possible legal shield from lawsuits stemming from the recall. During the restructuring process, GM negotiated with state attorney generals and consumer groups to carry product liability on vehicle faults after it left bankruptcy in 2009. Those faults prior to 2009 would need to take it up with old GM. So far, any lawsuits brought against the company for pre-2009 faults have gone nowhere. "It is true that new GM did not assume liability for claims arising from incidents or accidents occurring prior to July 2009.Our principle throughout this process has been to the put the customer first, and that will continue to guide us," said GM spokesman Greg Martin in a email. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  21. General Motors' problems with the 1.6 million vehicle recall over a faulty ignition switch are growing. This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has sent a 27 page document with 107 questions asking about the recall and the timeline. Questions range from how the investigation process on the ignition "was not as robust as it should have been" to when GM decided to start investigating crashes with the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5 where the air bag did not deploy. NHTSA has also requested documents ranging from complaints from owners to lawsuits involving GM vehicles in the recall. "We are a data-driven organization, and we will take whatever action is appropriate based on where our findings lead us," NHTSA said in a statement. "In addition to getting NHTSA the information they need, we are doing what we can now to ensure our customers' safety and peace of mind. We want our customers to know that today's GM is committed to fixing this problem in a manner that earns their trust," said GM in a email statement to Automotive News. General Motors has until April 3rd to comply with the document. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), NHTSA William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release and NHTSA's Special Order document is on Page 2 "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued General Motors LLC a Special Order as part of a Timeliness Query investigation of the automaker. The Special Order is part of the agency’s ongoing investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls. General Motors’ response to this Special Order must be provided to NHTSA by April 3, 2014. We are a data-driven organization, and we will take whatever action is appropriate based on where our findings lead us."
  22. Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced they would open a formal investigation into the timeliness of GM's ignition switch recall. The recall affects over 1.6 million vehicles which are, 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR 2005-07 Pontiac G5 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice 2003-07 Saturn Ion 2006-07 Saturn Sky In a statement, NHTSA says “opened an investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls.” This investigation could cost GM dearly. The Detroit News reports NHTSA could issue a maximum fine of $35 million if it failed to recall the vehicles because of a safety defect within five days. Documents filed by GM to federal regulators this week say they knew about the problem back in 2004 as the 2005 Cobalt was hitting dealerships. "We deeply regret the events that led to the recall and this investigation. We intend to fully cooperate with NHTSA, and we welcome the opportunity to help the agency have a full understanding of the facts. Today’s GM is committed to learning from the past while embracing the highest standards now and in the future," said GM in a statement. The Detroit News also reports that GM has hired an law firm to conduct a full review. The review will look at the decisions made by GM concerning their handling of this problem. Source: The Detroit News, (2) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  23. Two weeks ago, General Motors announced a massive recall that involves 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalts built between 2005 to 2007 and Pontiac G5s built in 2007 because of a faulty ignition switch that slip out of the run position if jostled or if any weight was applied to the key in the cylinder. Now this problem has caused 22 accidents and claimed the lives of six people since the air bags didn't deploy since the key was turned away from the run position. Now a GM spokesman pointed out at the time that the lack of air bags weren't the only factor in these fatalities; high speed, alcohol, not wearing a seat belt, and going off the road played a role in the six different fatalities. At that time, GM told owners to remove non-essential items from their key rings and get to their nearest dealer for a free replacement of the switch. Well today, GM has expanded the recall to an additional 588,000 vehicles bringing the total amount to over 1.6 million vehicles. The vehicles announced in this additional recall are, 2003-07 Saturn Ion 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky Along with the addition of the vehicles to the recall, the number of crashes and fatalities has increased to 31 and 13 respectively. In a statement, General Motors says they have begun the process of letting owners owners of the affected vehicles know. But it will go further by reaching out to social media and its customer care centers. But this may be only the beginning of problems for GM. Last week USA Today got their hands on documents in a court case concerning the death of pediatric nurse Brooke Melton. In 2010, she got into a accident with her 2005 Cobalt, killing her. A dump of the vehicle's black box showed that before the crash, the key was not in the run position, thus turning off the vehicle and causing the vehicle to lose control. During the trial, a GM engineer said the problem appeared when testing the Cobalt before went on sale. This was confirmed by documents filed by GM to safety regulators yesterday. Engineers were able to replicate the problem and an inquiry was opened. However, no action was taken after lead time, cost and effectiveness of potential solutions were taken into account. The paperwork goes on to say that in 2005, GM started getting reports that Cobalts were losing power when a driver inadvertently hit the key or the steering column. The company issued a service bulletin telling dealers that the likely cause came down to a heavy or large key ring. Dealers were told to notify customers to remove non-essential items from the key ring. During the 2007 model year, GM transitioned to a new ignition switch. But it was a few years ago that GM started getting reports of accidents in Cobalts where the airbag didn't deploy. It was discovered that the key was turning into the accessory position. With this, GM has opened itself up to the potential of lawsuits. "The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been. Today's GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward," said GM North America President Alan Batey. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), USA Today, (2), General Motors Press Release and GM's Filing is on Page 2 GM Expands Ignition Switch Recall Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Ion and Sky included Company Launches Process Review DETROIT – General Motors is expanding the recall of certain 2003-2007 model year vehicles to correct a condition with the ignition switch that may allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the "accessory" or "off" position, turning off the engine and most of the electrical components on the vehicle. In addition to 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada only, GM is separately recalling 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models. The affected U.S. vehicle population, including those vehicles recalled Feb. 13, totals 1,367,146. This expanded vehicle population raises the number of reported incidents involving frontal crashes, in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the non-deployment of the frontal airbags, to 31 involving 13 front-seat fatalities. As part of the recall, GM is taking steps to address customer concerns and working with its suppliers to increase parts production and accelerate availability. GM will notify all affected customers that in addition to recalling their vehicles and performing repairs at no charge to them, GM and its dealers will work with customers on an individual, case-by-case basis to minimize inconvenience associated with the recall. "Ensuring our customers' safety is our first order of business," said GM North America President Alan Batey. "We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can." Going beyond required written notification, GM, through its customer care centers and social media teams, is using customer records and communications channels to notify affected customers of the recall and additional actions the company is willing to take to relieve their concerns and minimize inconvenience. GM is recalling these vehicles because the ignition switch torque performance may not meet GM specifications. If the torque performance is not to specification, and the key ring is carrying added weight or the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other jarring event, the ignition switch may inadvertently be moved out of the "run" position. The timing of the key movement out of the "run" position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the airbags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes. Dealers will replace the ignition switch to prevent the unintentional or inadvertent key movement. Until this correction is performed, customers should use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring. As always, customers should drive responsibly and use their safety belts. On Monday, the company submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a detailed chronology associated with its initial recall of the ignition switch torque performance condition in Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s and Pursuits. The chronology outlines events that happened during the time that elapsed between receiving the first field reports and issuing a recall. "The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been," said Batey. "Today's GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward."
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 18, 2013 A few weeks ago, Chrysler put on a defying stance by saying no to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration order to recall about 2.7 million Jeep SUVs due to concerns of fires erupting from rear-end collisions. "Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective," the company said in a statement. Today, the company changed course and announced they would recall the 2.7 million Jeep SUVs (1993-2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty). Chrysler dealers will do an inspection on the affected vehicles, and the rear structure will be upgraded if necessary. Chrysler still disagrees with NHTSA that a safety defect is apparent. "Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles." Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group and NHTSA Resolve Recall Request June 18, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have resolved their differences with respect to NHTSA’s request to recall 1993-2004 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Jeep Liberty vehicles. As a result of the agreement, Chrysler Group will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts. Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles. Chrysler Group regards safety as a paramount concern and does not compromise on the safety of our customers and their families.
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 4, 2013 In a surprising form of defiance, Chrysler has said no the demand made by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Liberties due to fuel tanks that could catch on fire in a rear end accident. NHTSA has been investigating since 2010 and alleges that 1993 through 2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002 through 2007 Liberty are more prone to fuel leaks and fires. In its analysis, NHTSA found that 51 deaths involved Grand Cherokees and Liberties in rear-end accidents that caught on fire. NHTSA alleges the reasons for this are the tanks being made out of plastic and being placed behind the rear axle. In a statement released today, Chrysler says they do "not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective." Chrysler goes onto say their "vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity." Also, the company says in their tests the problem occurs less than once for every million years of vehicle operation and argues that NHTSA's analysis of the problem is not complete. So what happens next? Motoramic reports that NHTSA could hold a public hearing and declare the two vehicles defective. The agency could also take Chrysler to court to force the recall. It's a game of chicken and the question is, who blinks first? Source: Motoramic, Chrysler Chrysler's Press Release and White Paper is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Responds to NHTSA Recall Letter June 4, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has issued a recall request letter proposing that Chrysler Group recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee in model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty in model years 2002 to 2007 (a total of approximately 2.7 million vehicles). Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective. We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the Agency to resolve this disagreement. “The safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that commitment remains steadfast,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC. “The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles. All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles.” Chrysler Group’s position on this matter is clear. These vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity. Our analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question. Chrysler Group stands behind the quality and safety of its vehicles. It conducts voluntary recalls when they are warranted, and in most cases, before any notice or investigation request from NHTSA. Customers who have questions or concerns can call the Chrysler Group’s customer care line: 1-800-334-9200.

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