GM issues 3 new recalls Saturday

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — General Motors Co. is recalling nearly 47,000 cars in the United States because drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee and move the ignition key out of position.

It's the latest in a series of recalls linked to the problem of ignition keys moving out of position. GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles linked at least 23 deaths and 54 crashes in Cobalts, Ions and other cars in which ignition keys moved out of position causing stalling and frontal airbags to fail to deploy in crashes.

2013 Chevrolt Caprice police vehicle

In total, GM has rec

alled more than 15 million vehicles this year for ignition issues — including more than 10 million because drivers may bump keys or they may slip out of place.

GM announced three new recall campaigns on Saturday totaling 60,575 vehicles in North America, and 57,000 vehicles in the United States bringing its worldwide total from its North American unit to more than 30 million and 26.5 million in the United States in a record-setting 75 separate recall campaigns.

In the largest new recall GM is recalling the 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice and 2008-2009 Pontiac G8 vehicles. "There is a risk, under certain conditions, that some drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee and unintentionally move the key away from the 'run' position," GM told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on September 9, but the notice was only made public today by NHTSA.

GM said it is aware of one crash, no injuries and no fatalities in these vehicles.

In late June, GM's Australian unit Holden began investigating potential operator knee-to-key interference in Holden vehicles consistent with prior GM recalls in the United States, which prompted investigation by GM.

GM dealers will separate the Remote Keyless Entry Transmitter from the key blade and housing assembly. Dealers will discard the original key blade and housing assembly, ensuring that it is not retained by the customer. Dealers will cut and fit the revised key blade and housing assembly, in which the blade has been indexed by 90 degrees, to the original transmitter assembly.

"Until the recall has been performed, it is very important that drivers adjust their seat and steering column to allow clearance between their knee and the ignition key," GM told NHTSA. GM decided to recall the vehicles on Aug. 27.

GM is also recalling 10,005 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V and 2006-2007 Cadillac STS-V sedans in the United States. On certain vehicles, the fuel pump module electrical terminal may overheat, causing melting of the flange material. GM dealers will replace the fuel module and fuel tank jumper harness. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to the condition.

That recall was prompted by a "Speak Up for Safety Report" from a company employee in June that a CTS-V with 130,000 miles was leaking fuel. GM's investigation found new contacts built with copper and flexible wires were installed in CTS-V and STS-V cars built after March 15, 2007.

GM is also recalling 304 2014 Chevrolet Sonics in the U.S. that may have a loose electrical connection in the steering column that may impact driver air bag performance. If the condition is present and the air bag lamp is illuminated, it may result in the driver frontal air bag deploying only as a single-stage air bag in crashes of a certain severity. GM is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this issue.

GM said an electrical coordinator at its Orion Assembly plant on July 31 identified seven error codes that were built on the previous night shift. An investigation turned up the problem.

GM issued a separate stop sale on Friday for its new medium duty trucks for airbags failing to deploy properly. That recall is expected to cover about 2,200 vehicles.