Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

GM recalls 3.4M more cars for ignition problems

Chevrolet Cobalt

This April 1, 2014, file photo shows the ignition switch of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in Alexandria, Va. The ignition switch on the Cobalt and other small cars was so poorly designed that it easily slipped out of the run position, causing engines to stall. Engineers knew it; as early as 2004, a Cobalt stalled on a GM test track when the driver's knee grazed the key fob. By GM's admission, the defective switches caused over 50 crashes and at least 13 deaths. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

By
June 18, 2014 |

DETROIT — General Motors is recalling another 3 million cars because of a defect that causes a similar problem to one that led to an earlier massive recall of small cars, and is linked to 13 deaths.

The ignition switches in Chevrolet Impalas, Cadillac Devilles and five other models can slip out of the “run” position if the keychain has too much weight on it and the car is jarred, for example, by hitting a pothole. To fix the problem, GM will revise or replace the key.

Similar to the 2.6 million small cars GM began recalling in February, drivers of the newly recalled models could experience an engine stall, loss of power-assisted steering and brakes, and the air bags may not inflate in a crash. GM says the latest recall involves six injuries and no deaths, and is related to the design of the key. A mechanical defect in the switch is at the heart of the other recall.

GM is in the midst of a companywide safety review, and has now issued 44 recalls this year covering more than 20 million vehicles – nearly 18 million the U.S. The latest recall is likely to spark more questions about GM’s commitment to safety when CEO Mary Barra testifies for the second time before a House panel investigating why it took GM 11 years to recall the small cars.

Barra endured some harsh questions in April, but refused to answer most pending the release of an internal investigation. GM released those results on June 5, blaming a dysfunctional corporate structure and poor decisions by some employees for the crisis. The company also announced plans to establish a fund to compensate the families of those who died, plus those injured in more than 50 crashes.

“This latest recall raises even more questions about just how pervasive safety problems are at GM,” said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, whose oversight panel is investigating GM’s handling of the ignition switch defect.

Internal investigations found that the switches used in small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion were approved even though they didn’t meet GM specifications. The force required to turn the switches didn’t meet GM’s specifications, meaning the switches can be turned too easily.

The engineer who designed and approved the switches, Ray DeGiorgio, subsequently had the part supplier change the switch, but didn’t properly document the change. That proved to be a roadblock in GM investigations over a number of years.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said that DeGiorgio also worked on the switches in the cars recalled Monday, but those met GM specifications. GM is still reviewing the performance of other switches across its vehicle lineup, Adler said. So more recalls are possible.

GM also raised its expected second-quarter charge for recall expenses to $700 million from an earlier estimate of $400 million. That brings total recall expenses for the year to $2 billion.

The latest recall covers the 2005-2009 Buick Lacrosse, 2006-2014 Chevrolet Impala, 2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville, 2004-2011 Cadillac DTS, the 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne, the 2004 and 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS, and the Chevy Monte Carlo from the 2006 through 2008 model years.

GM says dealers will add an insert to the car keys to change the hole from a slot to a circle, so the weight of anything attached to the keychain is more evenly balanced. The company says that until the repairs are made, owners should remove everything from their key chains and drive with only the key in the ignition.

GM also is recalling 166,000 different cars and trucks for a series of other problems.

GM has now surpassed its old U.S. full-year recall record of 10.75 million vehicles set in 2004.

Rep. Diana DeGette, D.-Colo., the ranking member of a House committee investigating GM’s small-car recall, said Monday she will ask Barra how she plans to fix GM’s corporate culture. DeGette said Barra has spent her entire career at GM, leading some people to question if she’s the right person to fix the company. “I think you can make that argument both ways. She knows it intimately, so I’m hoping she’ll have some suggestions for us,” DeGette said.

DeGette also questioned why Congress is just now hearing about millions more recalled vehicles when the company knew of additional problems.

Christian Mayes, an analyst for Edward Jones, said the additional recalls give Barra more actions to point to when asked about how she is changing GM.

GM announced the recalls just before the markets closed. Shares rose 43 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $36.06.

When GM announced the earlier ignition switch recalls in stages earlier this year, the shares took a hit. But they have rebounded despite the bad news of additional recalls.

Investors realize that GM has a strong balance sheet and a large cash stockpile, so they see it withstanding the safety problems, said Morningstar analyst David Whiston.

“This is going to cost GM ultimately a number in the billions,” Whiston said. “But it’s a number I think the market is comfortable with, and thus they’re not selling the stock down into the $20s or even back into the high teens like it was in the summer of 2012.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JimboJune 16, 2014 - 10:47 pm

    CORRECTION: Ignition SWITCH problem. The original headline makes it sound like they are randomly bursting into flames.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KJune 17, 2014 - 6:16 am

    Hopefully the older vehicles like our 97 Monte Carlo (Nearly same car as the Impala) are ok, still like new only in the 50K miles, barely broken in :-)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

 
Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

 
Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 20 Comments

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 4 Comments

 
How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Veterinarians are too expensive, and it puts pets at risk

By The Washington Post | From Page: C5

Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics