We’ve been reporting a lot recently on the epic General Motors recall saga. The story — which has already defied credulity — took yet another oddball twist this week, as the automaker announced that it was recalling an additional 2.42 million vehicles to fix a smorgasbord of safety problems.
Earlier in the year, GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles because of problems with a defective ignition switch. For over a decade, GM knew about this defect but did basically nothing to fix it or alert consumers. As a result of the ignition switch controversy/recall, the automaker has taken serious financial hits this year. Last week, the company estimated that it would need to charge $200 million against second quarter earnings.
This week, the company revised that estimate to $400 million. In the first quarter, GM charged $1.3 billion, decimating its earnings. The government also stoked the fire last week by fining the automaker $35 million over the ignition switch issue.
So far, GM has issued a whopping 29 separate recalls in 2014 alone. Here’s a look at some of the non-ignition switch related problems that have prompted recalls:
- GM recalled nearly 1.5 million GMC Acadias, Chevy Traverses, Buick Enclaves and Saturn Outlooks due to problems with the front safety lap belts. Consumer use can wear the belts down and make them unsafe.
- On April 29, GM recalled over a million vehicles to deal with a problematic transmission shift indicator cable. So far, 18 vehicle crashes and one injury have been tied to this defective cable problem.
- The company recalled 58 GMCs Sierra and Chevy Silverado trucks due to unsafe electrical connections as well as 1,400+ Escalades and Escalades ESVs, due to problematic air bags, which fail to inflate correctly during accidents.
It’s normal for automakers, like GM, to recall vehicles from time-to-time due to safety flaws. Despite best engineering efforts, some “bugs” may not be detectable until after vehicles enter the market. That’s not GM’s fault, necessarily – it’s just the way engineering works. The same problem happens with computer software rollouts and really any engineering projects. Despite your best efforts to do the engineering right, you can never predict exactly what will go wrong, why and when.
The reason why so many people are so angry at GM is not that the company built vehicles with defective ignition switches but rather that company sat on the information for so long without taking action and “doing the right thing.”
Companies that make products have a duty to protect their customers. If you or someone you love got hurt due to a defective GM part, the Washington D.C. personal injury lawyers at Regan, Zambri & Long would like to hear from you; we can provide a free, confidential consultation. Call us now at (202) 463-3030.