GM recalls 1.18 million SUVs for air bag issue
By Dee-Ann Durbin, AP
March 19, 2014, 12:07 am TWN
DETROIT--General Motors issued a new recall of 1.5 million vehicles Monday, part of an effort to assure buyers that it's moving faster to fix safety defects in its cars and trucks.
In a video message to employees posted Monday, CEO Mary Barra said the new recall resulted from a push to review potential safety issues and resolve them more quickly.
It's part of the fallout from the recall last month of more than 1.6 million small cars for defective engine switches. The defect is linked to 12 deaths, and GM is facing multiple investigations into how it handled the recall. GM first began investigating the switches in 2004.
"Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened," Barra said.
Barra told employees that GM is undergoing an "intense review" of its recall procedure, and that its system will change. In the meantime, she said, the company will cooperate fully with government investigators.
"The bottom line is, we will get better as a result of this tragic situation if we seize the opportunity," she said.
GM said it expects to spend approximately US$300 million in the first quarter to repair the vehicles in the new recalls as well as the vehicles in the small car recall.
Jack Nerad, editorial director for Kelley Blue Book, said it's better for GM to act on the new recalls now rather than waiting until the ignition switch investigations have ended.
"If you've got bad news now and put it out in a month's time, it looks like a trend and it will just prolong things," he said.
"They're saying, 'This is our stake in the ground and we're changing the way we're operating."