General Motors issues three new recalls, cites ignition systems

Fri Jan 2, 2015 5:10am EST
 
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By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) began the new year by announcing three new vehicle recalls on Thursday, as the ignition switch crisis continued to dog the automaker after millions of vehicles were recalled in 2014.

No crashes or injuries were reported in the latest round of recalls involving 83,572 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. GM expects that fewer than 500 will be affected by the defect, an ignition lock actuator with an outer diameter that exceeds specifications.

Still, the issue could spook consumers and investors.

Ignition system problems were behind the record number of recalls made in 2014 by GM, which has struggled to rebuild its reputation following its 2009 bankruptcy.

The recalls hit GM's share price, which fell 14.6 percent during 2014, a year in which shares of rival Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote) rose about 0.5 percent.

GM recalled more than 2.5 million vehicles in 2014 after accidents that caused more than 40 deaths. The compensation program, which is accepting claims until Jan. 31, has received more than 2,200 claims for injuries and deaths as a result of the issue.

In the primary recall announced on Thursday, the outsized ignition lock actuator can lead to the ignition key getting stuck in the "start" position. If the vehicle is driven that way and experiences a "significant jarring event," the ignition lock cylinder could move into the "accessory" position, affecting engine power, power steering and power braking.

"Also, the timing of the key movement into the accessory position relative to crash sensing could result in the air bags not deploying in certain crashes," company spokesperson Alan Alder said in a statement.   Continued...

 
The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009.     REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files