Can things possibly get any worse for General Motors? GM announced yet another recall of 1.7 million vehicles, unrelated to last month’s recall of 1.6 million. In addition to the announcement of the new recall campaigns, GM also created a new executive position; Global Safety Chief. Jeff Boyer, a long-time GM engineer, has been named the new vice president for global vehicle safety in efforts to create more rigorous accountability, and to stem the fallout from these recalls. Boyer will be responsible for safety performance before and after vehicles are on sale.
Speaking in a video to employees that was released recently, chief executive Mary T. Barra said the company is in the midst of a “comprehensive safety review.” GM’s new CEO will no doubt face questions about when she had any knowledge of these safety issue when it comes before Congress.
The latest recalls involve Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, model years 2009 to 2014, that will receive reworked instrument panel materials to help meet federal requirements for passengers not wearing seat belts. Currently, unbelted passengers are at risk of serious head injuries from the instrument panels in an accident. The company said it has halted delivery of unsold vehicles until the company develops a fix for the problem and parts become available.
Other vehicles involved are the 2008-13 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, the 2009-13 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2008-10 Saturn Outlook, which are all large crossover SUVs. GM said all of those cars are eventually at risk of having their side-impact restraints — which include air bags and seat belts — fail to operate if drivers ignore air-bag service warning lights.
The third recall involves the 2013 and 2014 Cadillac XTS, a sedan in which brake booster pumps have a problem that could lead to overheating and engine compartment fires. GM said it was aware of two engine compartment fires in dealer-owned cars and two cases of wires and other components melting.