GM Recalls 3M More Cars Over Ignition Switch Issues

  on June 16 2014 5:14 PM

(Reuters) -- General Motors Co. on Monday recalled 3.36 million North American cars with ignition switches that can be jarred out of the "run" position, potentially affecting power steering, power brakes and air bags.

The switch problem is similar to the defect linked to at least 13 deaths in an earlier, 2.6-million vehicle recall of Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars.

GM has made 44 recalls so far this year, totaling about 20 million vehicles. That is more than total annual U.S. vehicle sales. More than 6 million of the vehicles were recalled for ignition switch-related issues. GM said it would replace or rework the ignition keys on the cars in the new recall, and it raised a recall-related charge for the second quarter to $700 million from $400 million. That takes total recall-related charges this year to $2 billion.

GM said it was aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to the new recall.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker said its fix for the cars recalled on Monday would prevent extra weight from pulling the key to one side.

"The use of a key with a hole, rather than a slotted key, addresses the concern of unintended key rotation due to a jarring road event, such as striking a pothole or crossing railroad tracks," it said.

The new recall includes Buick Lacrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac Deville and several other models, though only the Impala is currently in production. The cars cover model years ranging between 2000 and 2014.

The newest recall comes two days before GM Chief Executive Mary Barra returns to Congress to testify about the earlier Cobalt recall. A recently released internal report on why GM took more than a decade to fix the switch issue found a range of cultural problems at the company.

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