GM digs deeper to ensure zero issue over safety of its vehicles

Article by Christian A., on July 2, 2014

General Motors has been doing more than usual to uncover and address any underlying safety issues, prompted by the large-scale recall of millions of small cars due to defective ignition switch. In fact, GM also recalled vehicles that were previously called back years ago.

GM recently recalled some Chevrolet Cobalts and HHRs over a power-steering issue, after calling them back years ago to replace power-steering components. While the recalling previously fixed units could hurt GM’s pride and annoy customers, it is an indication of the carmaker’s seriousness to fix any past or present issues.

Aside from accelerating reviews of pending safety issues, GM remarked that it is assessing past recalls and other "field actions" to determine whether it did what was necessary.

Of the more than 20 million vehicles GM has recalled back so far this year, around 4 million were tied to previous recalls, according to a review of records by Automotive News.

GM is currently reviewing recalls, among many, covering certain versions of a particular nameplate, or only some models sharing a faulty part. For instance, GM recalled Saab 9-3 convertibles over fragile seat belt retractors in June 2013, around a decade calling back 9-3 sedans on the same issue.

For now, GM’s decision to recall certain vehicles are more influenced by nature and possible consequences of safety issues than complaints from consumers. "They're being overly aggressive in taking care of these," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

He remarked that GM would prefer cars having zero risk and would recall any vehicle even if there is a one-in-a-million chance of that risk.

As evidenced, some of the carmaker’s recent recalls were prompted by engineering inquiries launched after a single incident, just like the case of the Chevrolet Cruze, which was just after a driver filed a lawsuit over injuries blamed on a faulty airbag.

GM also called back about 145,000 new Chevrolet Malibus after it discovered on a test on an upcoming model that there are some issues with a brake boost system that the cars share.

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