GM recalls 3.4 million vehicles for similar ignition-switch defect


DETROIT — The scope of General Motors Co.’s ignition-switch crisis more than doubled Monday as the company recalled for another 3.4 million vehicles plagued by a similar defect that can result in stalling and disruption of electrical power.

GM’s second-quarter earnings will be cut by $700 million, up from a previously reported $400 million.

The automaker is recalling vehicles ranging from 2000 to 2014 model years — all but one model is no longer produced. As with 2.6 million previously recalled small cars, the latest recall involve ignition switches that may inadvertently move out of the “run” position if the key is carrying extra weight and experiences some jarring event, the company said in a statement.

The previous recall has been tied to at least 13 deaths and more than 40 crashes.

“Every time they announce a recall I hope that’s the last one — and then a week or two later, there’s another one,” Morningstar analyst David Whiston said.

The new recall places additional scrutiny on the quality of GM’s older vehicles and extends GM’s single-year record for recalled vehicles to more than 20 million.

GM spokesman Alan Adler confirmed in an email that ignition switch engineer Ray DeGiorgio — who was recently fired after investigators concluded he played a key role in hiding a deadly defect in the other vehicles — was the “release engineer” for the ignition switches on the newly recalled cars.

The latest recall comes as GM CEO Mary Barra prepares to testify Wednesday before a U.S. House subcommittee over an investigation conducted by former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas, who will also testify.

Barra told reporters last week that GM is nearing the conclusion of an exhaustive review of safety data and warned there will be more recalls by the end of June.

GM shares rose 43 cents Monday to $36.06, but the news was not released until near the close of trading. So far, GM sales have not been hurt by the recalls.

Morningstar’s Whiston said the larger impact to GM’s bottom line will come from settlements GM plans to offer victims and fines from ongoing government investigations.

The new recall covers the 2005-09 Buick LaCrosse, 2006-13 Chevrolet Impala, 2014 Impala for rental car companies (but not for retail consumers), 2000-05 Cadillac Deville, 2004-11 Cadillac DTS, 2006-11 Buick Lucerne, the 2004-05 Buick Regal LS and GS and the 2006-08 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

GM said it would add an insert to keys or replace keys entirely. The company will start repairs within a few weeks.

“The best way to assure safety in these vehicles until the key is reworked or replaced is to drive with the ignition key alone,” Adler said.

DeGiorgio and 14 other GM employees were fired for their roles in delaying the diagnosis and repair of the problem. The automaker has repaired only about 155,000 of the 2.6 million recalled vehicles so far, according to a House committee report released Monday.

Congressional investigators noted that just under 400,000 repair kits have been shipped by the supplier, Delphi, as of last Wednesday.

Safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have fined GM $35 million for taking too long to report the impact of the ignition switch defect.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said a third production line is being added to produce the parts. The company expects to have the final repair kits shipped by the end of October.

Separately Monday, the company also recalled 165,770 vehicles for unrelated reasons, including some 2013-14 Cadillac ATS and 2014 Cadillac CTS sedans for a shift cable that could break; 2015 heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups for a potential power steering hose clamp issue; some 2011 Cadillac CTS sedans for a potential gasket leak; some 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays whose air bags might be blocked from deployment; and some 2014-15 Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks whose floor mats could slip.

The new ignition-switch defect has been linked to eight crashes and six injuries, but no deaths.

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(Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press contributed to this report from Washington.)