General Motors has issued an auto defect recall for many of its vehicle models for five different safety defects.
According to a news report in The New York Times, the company recalled 2.7 million vehicles bringing the total number of vehicle this year by GM in the United States to 11.2 million.
Last year, the company recalled 758,000 vehicles in the United States.
In February, the automaker recalled millions of older-model small cars for defective ignition switches – a vehicle defect that has been linked to at least 13 deaths.
The most recent recall covers five separate safety issues and includes some of GM’s top selling models such as the Chevy Malibu midsize sedan and the company’s full-size pickups.
Millions of cars have taillights that could malfunction and 477 trucks and big SUVs could suddenly lose steering because parts were not tightened properly.
The steering issue is so dangerous that GM has advised owners not to operate the vehicles until they have been repaired.
Brake Light Issue Caused Accidents
The largest of this new wave of recalls covers 2.4 million midsize cars with faulty wiring that could cause brake lights to malfunction and not illuminate.
It could also disable safety features such as the electronic stability control, which tries to correct for skids.
This problem could affect the panic braking assist, which is designed to ensure the vehicle’s full braking power is being used in an emergency stop.
The vehicles with faulty wiring include the 2004-2012 Malibu, the 2004-2007 Malibu Maxx, the 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and the 2007-2010 Saturn Aura.
This recall in fact expands a 2009 recall of 8,000 vehicles, which federal safety regulators had challenged as inadequate. GM limited that recall to relatively few 2005-2006 Pontiac G6 models for the brake light defect.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sought more information about why the automaker did not recall other vehicles that appeared to use a similar system.
A Disturbing Trend
Now, GM has issued the recall based on “additional investigation.”
The automaker said it knew of hundreds of complaints relating to this defect including 13 accidents that involved two injuries, but no fatalities.
As early as in 2008, the automaker told dealers that there might be an issue with the brake lights, but there was no recall until 2009 and even then, only 8,000 vehicles were included in the recall.
In the case of the ignition defect, which as a result 13 people died, GM had known for a decade that the vehicles needed to be fixed. And yet, there was no recall and no warning to consumers.
According to estimates, the ignition problem would have cost the automaker less than $1 to fix.
They chose not to do it. In the case of these brake light issues as well, they knew six years ago that there was a problem and that it was causing accidents and injuries.
Again, they chose not to do anything about it. They chose to put profits before the safety of their consumers.