General Motors’ ignition switch problems keep getting bigger, and they keep getting worse.
GM is now recalling an additional 7.6 million vehicles in the US, in six separate actions, with a range of problems similar to the ignition-switch defects that were previously found to have caused dozens of accidents and at least 13 deaths, prompting the eventual recall of 2.6 million of the company’s older-model compact cars.
The expanded recalls come on the same day the automaker announced compensation plans for the victims of accidents caused by the ignition-switch defect.
The latest recall is even more wide-ranging than the ones that have come previously, including vehicles manufactured between 1997 and 2014. Whereas the previous actions mainly involved smaller compact models, full-size sedans, and SUVs were included in Monday's announcement.
GM is aware of seven crashes, eight injuries, and three fatalities that occurred with the latest batch of recalled vehicles. But, “the fatal crashes occurred in older model full-size sedans being recalled for inadvertent ignition key rotation,” GM said in a company recall notice. “There is no conclusive evidence that the defect condition caused those crashes.”
“We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers,” GM chief executive Mary Barra said in the announcement. “If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation.”
The automaker expects to take a $1.2 billion charge for repairs of the recalled vehicles in the second quarter of 2014. Before the announcement, GM had estimated a $600 million charge to repair the previously recalled vehicles.
“Until the ignition recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that customers remove all items from their key ring, leaving only the vehicle key, and always use their seat belts,” the release read. “The key fob, if present, should also be removed from the key ring.”
In early June, General Motors released a chart outlining all of the company recalls issued sine the beginning of 2014 – at the time, 29 recalls had included 13.8 million vehicles in the US, for both the ignition switch problem and other issues. Since then, the company has made two more separate large-scale recall announcements: On June 17, GM recalled 3.4 million Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles for a wide range of defects, including ignition problems. Today’s announcement affected 7.6 million vehicles, though there may be some overlap with the previous announcements.
The automaker also recalled 33,000 Chevy Cruze cars last week for faulty airbags.
For a complete list of the vehicles included in today’s recall, visit today’s GM release, here, or click the graphic to the right.