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Another 8.2 Million GM Vehicles Recalled Over Faulty Ignition Switches

Jul 1, 2014

In the continuing safety crisis for General Motors vehicles, yesterday the automaker recalled 8.2 million midsize vehicles with the same defective ignition switch as the mostly small cars recalled earlier this.

This latest recall raises GM's total recalls this year to date to over 28 million, the Associated Press (AP) reports. In initiating the recall, GM said it is aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving those vehicles, though the company said there is no conclusive evidence that faulty ignition switches caused the crashes. The recall includes 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-08 Pontiac Grand Prix, and 2013-14 Cadillac GTS. GM’s statement said the recalls are for "unintended ignition key rotation."

The ignition switch can unexpectedly rotate out of the “run” position under rough road conditions or if the driver jostles the key. The engine shuts off and the air bags are disabled, depriving front seat occupants of important protection in the event of a crash. GM has acknowledged that the defect is linked to 13 deaths and more than four dozen accidents, but investigators believe the number could be substantially higher and could also involve injuries in nonfatal crashes.

To cover the recall-related expenses, GM plans to take a $1.2 billion charge in the second quarter, adding to the 1.3 billion charge in the first quarter for recall expenses, according to the AP. Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, said the recalls are the result of an extensive safety review within the company, and added, "If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation."

Until the recalled cars can be repaired, GM urges owners to remove everything from their key ring except the ignition key, according to the AP. On Monday GM announced a victims compensation program that will be overseen by Kenneth R. Feinberg, who administered compensation programs for September 11 victims, for families of the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings, and for families and victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

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