GM to take $300m charge as it announces fresh recalls

  • 17 March 2014
  • From the section Business
GMC Acadia
Image caption The GMC Acadia is one the seven models affected by the latest recall

US car manufacturer General Motors (GM) expects to spend nearly $300m (£180m) in the first quarter to repair vehicles affected by its recent recalls.

The firm set aside the amount on Monday as it announced three separate recalls affecting nearly 1.5 million vehicles.

That follows the 1.6 million vehicles it called back last month over faulty ignition switches.

GM is facing an investigation over its handling of the recall over the faulty switches which can disable airbags.

"I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly," said Mary Barra, chief executive of the firm, in a statement.

The recall announced on Monday affects the following models:

  • 1.18 million vehicles, including 2008 - 2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, 2009 - 2013 Chevrolet Traverse and 2008 - 2010 Saturn Outlook, over problems with deployment of side airbags.
  • 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from the 2009 - 2014 model years with gross vehicle weights of 10,000 pounds or less as they do not comply with a head impact requirement for unrestrained occupants.
  • 63,900 Cadillac XTS full-size sedan from the 2013 and 2014 model years to fix a problem that could lead to overheating, melting of plastic components and a possible engine compartment fire.

'Intense review'

GM is under pressure over its handling of a recall earlier this year that involved faulty ignition switches which could turn off the engine and disable airbags.

The carmaker issued that recall in February, but has admitted that employees knew about the problem as early as 2004.

Two US congressional committees have said they will investigate the handling of the issue.

GM has also launched an internal enquiry into the matter.

"We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes and will have more developments to announce as we move forward," Ms Barra said on Monday.

There is a also a dispute over the number of deaths that have been linked to the issue.

GM has said the problem has been linked to 12 casualties.

However, last week a report commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety linked faulty airbags in two of the six models affected by the recall to 303 deaths.

It claimed it had got the number by reviewing US federal crash data for the said models.

But GM has disputed the number in the report, saying it only looked at raw data and did not evaluate the reasons.

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