June 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

GM recalling 105,000 vehicles in four campaigns

Washington — General Motors Co. said Friday it is issuing four new recall campaigns covering nearly 150,000 vehicles in the United States — including three new recalls for air bag problems.

The new recalls come as the Detroit automaker’s team of safety investigators continues to review a variety of safety complaints. GM CEO Mary Barra disclosed Thursday that the automaker would “likely” issue more recalls — the same day it notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the new recalls.

GM has recalled a record 15.9 million vehicles worldwide in about 34 campaigns this year — about 20 times as many vehicles as it recalled last year. Barra announced Thursday 15 people had been fired in connection with GM’s delayed recall of 2.6 million older Cobalt, Ion and other cars linked to 13 deaths and 54 crashes because of ignition switch defects. Many of GM’s top safety officials, lawyers and engineers were dismissed.

The largest recall involves 69,500 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LD, 2014 GMC Sierra LD and 2015 Silverado HD, Tahoe and Suburban and 2015 GMC Sierra HD and Yukon and Yukon XL models worldwide, 57,512 in the U.S. because the “base radio may not work, preventing audible warnings if the key is in the ignition when the driver’s door is opened. Nor would there be an audible chime if a front seat belt is not buckled. If they had this condition, the trucks would be out of compliance with motor vehicle safety standards covering theft protection, rollaway protection and occupant crash protection. Dealers will reprogram the radio control module free of charge.”

GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the recall.

The Detroit automaker is also recalling 36,012 worldwide, 31,520 in the U.S., 2012 Buick Verano and Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic compact cars for a defect in which the shorting bar inside the dual stage driver’s air bag may occasionally contact the air bag terminals. If contact occurs, the air bag warning light will turn on.

GM said if the car and terminals are contacting each other in a crash, the air bag will not deploy. Dealers will replace the steering wheel air bag coil, which will eliminate contact any between the shorting bar and the air bag terminals. GM is aware of one crash with an injury where the relevant diagnostic trouble code was found at the time the vehicle was repaired. GM said it is aware of other crashes where air bags did not deploy but it is not known if they were related to this condition.

This is the second time since 2012 that GM has expanded the recall population. Its previous recall for this condition involved 7,000 of these vehicles.

GM is also issuing two recalls of each less than 100 vehicles. GM is recalling 61 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark and 2013 model year Buick Encores manufactured in Changwon, Korea from Dec. 30, 2012 through May 8, 2013 because the vehicles may have a condition in which the front passenger airbag end cap could separate from the airbag inflator. In a crash, this may prevent the passenger airbag from deploying properly.

GM is also recalling 33 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes in the U.S. because an internal short-circuit in the sensing and diagnostic module could disable frontal air bags, safety belt pretensioners and the Automatic Occupancy Sensing module. GM dealers will replace the module on the affected vehicles. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to either of the small recalls.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, aided by a federal grand jury, is investigating GM’s conduct, as is the Securities and Exchange Commission, a group of state attorneys general and two congressional committees that are planning another round of hearings with Barra.