This past Thursday, General Motors had to recall another 2.7 million vehicles. This is just the latest recall amid a string of pullbacks occurring after numerous safety flaws were found in General Motors cars, spanning multiple models. So far this year the auto maker has had to recall a total of 12.8 million vehicles worldwide and 11.1 million domestically, and it is looking likely that they will break their previous recall record of 11.8 million domestic recalls in 2004.
Earlier this year, GM was under fire for its slow response to a known safety issue with its ignition switch that had the potential to disable airbags. The flaw was linked to 13 deaths, and GM has since agreed to pay a $35 million penalty because of its failure to report the defect.
The company had been aware of the issue for over a decade, and their delay was investigated by various government bodies, including federal regulators as well as Congress. In response, GM and its board launched internal probes. According to GM, the latest recall doesn’t indicate that the company’s vehicles are increasingly unsafe — rather, that they are being more vigilant about potential problems and are making the decision to pull early, rather than wait out to see what happens.
“We have redoubled our efforts to expedite and resolve current reviews in process and also have identified and analyzed recent vehicle issues which require action,” explains Jeff Boyer, GM’s VP of global vehicle safety.
The company has issued 24 recalls in 2014, and the recalls cover a wide range of issues, including several about brake-light malfunctions that can cause wire corrosion.
Although the public may remain skeptical, GM plans to continue addressing problems as they occur. “We are working aggressively to resolve open federal investigations,” says Alan Adler, a company spokesperson, regarding investigations currently pending by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company has also created a “Speak Up for Safety” program to encourage employees to speak up about known issues earlier in the development process.