New, Unrelated GM Recalls: What You Need to Know

Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-17 19:20:37-04

WEST MICHIGAN, Mich. — General Motors now has four recalls. They aren’t out of the norm, but one of them sparked controversy.

The vehicles under recall include:

2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse, 2008-2013 Buick Enclave, 2008-2013 GMC Acadia and 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook.

The concern is that “seat-mounted airbags” could fail due to faulty wiring.

Also, a batch of 2013 and 2014 Cadillac XTS full-size sedans are being called back because of a plug in the brake system.

Lastly, front seat passengers who fail to wear a seat belt  risk serious head injury in the Chevrolet Express and the GMC Savana full-size vans. That’s because the material covering passenger-side airbags fail to meet “federal regulatory standards”.

Grand Valley State University economics professor Paul Isley said General Motors had recently bounced back and improved its image in the United States among consumers. However, the news over the alleged ‘ignition switch’ cover-up raises many questions. The main two are: when did the company know of a possible problem and did they act quickly enough?

“The poster child of having this happen was Toyota with their brake issue, and that results in costs of a few billion dollars,” Isley said.

He doesn’t believe this recall will hurt GM very much financially.

“The real problem for them starts to be a reputational (sic) one,” he said.

In fact, reports indicate that General Motors would pay out roughly $300 million for the fix, along with the three new recalls issued Monday. Isley said the three latest recalls would otherwise be your average recall, receiving little attention if it had not been for the controversial ignition switch issue.

Although it’s not much in the grand scheme for the company, Isley said $300 million will have some impact.

“So these things tend to cause short term drops in market share. They tend to cause some pressure on profits but they tend not to have lasting effects as long as the company moves through it,” he explained.

Honda also recalled 900,000 Odyssey minivans recently due to the risk of catching fire.