General Motors piled on its already record number of car recalls this year by announcing another round Friday that covers more than 310,000 vehicles in North America.
GM, which has now recalled well over 29 million cars, said its latest callback included more than 215,000 Saturn VUE crossover SUVs made between 2002 and 2004. The vehicle’s key can potentially be removed from the ignition before the car is turned off, the company said, adding that it is aware of two crashes and one injury possibly related to the problem.
Another recall involved more than 75,000 Cadillac ATS sedans from 2013 as well as 2013 Buick Encores and 2013 Chevrolet Trax that could have defective lap belt parts. GM is also calling back nearly 2,000 2009-2010 Chevrolet Aveos and 2009 Pontiac G3 because of brake fluid problems as well as almost 2,000 Chevrolet Sparks, model year 2014, which bolts in the suspension system that may not be tightened to specification. Also being recalled are nearly 15,000 2014-2015 Chevrolet Impalas that have front console storage compartments that could come unlatched during a rear collision.
The latest recall comes just one day after GM lawyer Kenneth Feinberg told CNBC that the automaker had already processed 115 claims as part of its compensation program for the victims of car crashes involving faulty ignition switches. The program is in response to the fallout from GM’s delayed recall earlier this year of 2.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches, which caused at least 13 deaths over several years and set off a series of subsequent recalls of other models for various problems. Feinberg said more than half of the claims GM has received so far are seeking compensation due to death.
Meanwhile, despite the seemingly unending recalls and mountains of negative press – including a recent Justice Department subpoena of GM Financial over subprime auto loans – GM still managed to record its best July sales since 2007 last month. The company sold 256,160 cars last month, up 9% from July 2013