CHICAGO, May 20 (Xinhua) -- General Motors Co. (GM) announced Tuesday to recall an additional 2.42 million vehicles in four separate recalls in U.S., bringing its yearly recall total to 15.2 million units worldwide.
Affected vehicles include 2009-2014 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia full-size crossovers, 2009-2010 Saturn Outlooks, 2004-2008 Chevrolet Malibu, and 2005-2008 Pontiac G6, which make up 2.4 million units. A much smaller number of vehicles included in a separate recall announced Monday are from 2015 model year: the Cadillac Escalades, Escalade ESVs, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups.
The Detroit-based automaker stressed that there have been no fatalities associated with these recalls.
Financially, GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately 400 million dollars in the second quarter for the cost of recall- related repairs, including 200 million dollars for the five recalls announced on May 16.
Reasons for the latest recall are a seatbelt cable that may break over time, and a shift cable that could wear out over time and result in the mismatch of gear position indicated by the shift lever. Both of the problems could increase the risk of injury to front seat passengers.
In addition to the recall, GM also stopped the sale of 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESVs.
GM's troubles first started in October 2001, when the automaker adopted a shorter ignition switch which can save the production cost by about 57 cents.
"We now know that these switches were defective from the start. In February of 2002, GM's ignition switch supplier, Delphi, informed the company that the switch did not meet GM's minimum specifications, but GM approved it anyway," said U.S. Congresswoman Diana DeGette in an April 1 Congressional committee meeting.
It was after two years that accidents started to happen. U.S. House of Representatives staff members found 133 warranty claims filed with GM over sudden engine stalling when they drove over a bump or brushed keys with their knees. This malfunction would prove fatal to at least 13 people.
On Jan. 15, 2014, Mary Barra became GM's new CEO and inherited quite a bit of trouble. On Jan. 31, her second week on the job, a meeting was called at GM, in which the decision was made to recall all Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s made from 2005 to 2007. But that wasn't it for GM, further examination indicated that the problem wasn't just isolated to two car models..
On April 1, Barra was called to testify before the Congress. GM has so far initiated 29 safety and non-compliance recalls in the U. S. this year.
On May 16, GM agreed to pay the 35 million-dollar fine imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to report the ignition switch defect timely, the maximum fine the U.S. Department of Transportation is allowed to impose.
GM has added 35 product investigators since the beginning of 2014. But these new hires weren't enough for GM to appease U.S. Transportation Department. "Literally, silence can kill. GM did not act and did not alert us in a timely manner. What GM did was break the law," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.