How’s Another Round Of GM Recalls Affecting West Michigan Dealers?

Posted at 10:39 PM, Mar 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-01 05:45:20-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 31, 2014) – Another massive recall has been issued by General Motors, with more than 1.3 million vehicles involved this time around.

The recall has both customers and dealers asking questions and watching closely to see how the recall will play out. The latest issue has to do with a sudden loss of electric power steering.

Here is a list of the affected models, according to GM:

  • Chevrolet Malibu: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
  • Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some 2006 model year
  • Chevrolet HHR (Non-Turbo): Some model year 2009 and 2010 vehicles
  • Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles
  • Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
  • Saturn ION: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles
  • Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006 and model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles
  • Service parts installed into certain vehicles before May 31, 2010 under a previous safety recall

The recall comes days after bad wiring in seat-mounted airbags prompted a recall for these models:

  • Chevrolet Traverse: 2009-2013
  • Buick Enclave: 2008-2013
  • GMC Acadia: 2008-2013
  • Saturn Outlook: 2008-2010

Another recall has to do with a plug-in the brake system:

  • Cadillac XTS full-size sedans: 2013-2014

The initial recall related to a faulty ignition switch and has now expanded to include all model years of the following:

  • Chevrolet Cobalt
  • ChevrolteHHR
  • Pontiac G5
  • Pontiac Solstice
  • Saturn Ion
  • Saturn Sky

Meanwhile, West Michigan dealers said customers will likely experience a long wait on hold when they call.  One dealer said he will likely need to hire workers to take calls from customers looking for answers.

“The dealers are the ones who are having to fix it, having to take the public face of the problem, and they may take some short-term hits in sales because of the drop in market share,” said Grand Valley State University economics professor Paul Isely.

“The service centers are going to be doing lots of work, and that work is going to be paid for by the corporation.”

According to one West Michigan dealer, the recalls are coming without notice and therefore the dealers are left ill-equipped to fix the problem.

But Isely said there is a silver lining in this. “If they (the dealers) take advantage of it, they can show, ‘Hey, this is your old vehicle, look at how good the products are now,'” he said.

Isely pointed to recent history as an example of how these large scale recalls are short-lived in the minds of consumers.  In 2010 Toyota recalled more than four million popular models due to an accelerator problem.

“The good news is it really took less than a year for the consumer perception of Toyota to completely turn around,” said Isely.

The GVSU professor said GM is going about this in a methodical fashion.  Announcing one recall after another is a move that could pay off in the long-run, he said.

“It’s sort of like ripping off a Band-Aid at this poinT. You might as well get them done and get them done now.”

Isely said his Band-Aid theory only works if it’s removed completely.  That is, there is concern that if the recall issue lingers, it could undo a lot of the good will the company earned recovering from the ‘bailout’ just a few years removed.