General Motors adds more vehicles to their ever growing recall list.
The 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less have dashboard material that is too hard and doesn't comply with federal head impact requirements for unbelted passengers. GM will replace the material under the dash on about 303,000 vehicles and has told dealers not to sell any vans until the fix is available.
The three recalls don't address five current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigations into 2.9 million GM models, some of which have been ongoing since 2011. One of these investigations involves the 2004-2007 Saturn Ion -- one of the same models involved in the ignition switch recall -- for electric power steering that can fail and make the steering wheel difficult to turn. GM has received nearly 3,500 complaints on the issue. Another investigation involves 1.77 million full-size SUVs and pickup trucks from 1999-2003 for brake line corrosion that can lead to increased stopping distances. GM and the NHTSA also received more than 1,300 complaints for brake light malfunctions on 2005-2008 Pontiac G6 models, which were not included in last year's recall of just under 10,000 cars in the U.S. None of these investigations have been escalated to a recall either by the NHTSA or GM.
GM is currently under a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice and under two separate investigations by the U.S. House of Representatives and the NHTSA for the company's February recall of 1.62 million compact cars from 2003-2007. GM first knew about the problem -- in which the ignition switch can loosen and shut the car's engine off at any speed, thereby disabling all power assists for the steering and brakes and electronic safety features such as airbags -- at least 13 years ago on a preproduction Saturn Ion.
GM later found the same problem on a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt during the car's launch in 2004. By 2006, GM had approved a redesigned switch with a stronger spring to prevent the ignition key from slipping out of the "on" position and informed dealers of the change, but less than 500 cars were repaired and most car owners did not know there was a repair. GM has settled out of court for this exact problem and the NHTSA is also under investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives for its corresponding failure to act despite receiving hundreds of complaints on this issue