General Motors (GM) is recalling another 8.2 million vehicles because of a range of problems, with the automaker saying on Monday that it is aware of three fatal crashes involving affected models.
The company announced six new safety recalls for seven vehicles from the 1997 to 2014 model years. GM said it is aware of seven crashes and eight injuries, along with the three deaths, among the recalled vehicles. The fatal accidents involved older full-size sedans being recalled for what the auto giant described as "inadvertent key rotation." Despite the recall, GM noted that it has no proof that the key defect caused those crashes.
"We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. "If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation."
Among the cars included in the latest recall are the 2003 through 2014 Cadillac CTS, 2011 thorough 2014 Chervolet Cruze and 2007 through 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD (see chart at bottom for a full list of the vehicles GM recalled Monday).
GM urged drivers to remove all items from their key ring, including the fob, and to leave only the vehicle key.
GM has now recalled roughly 29 million cars and trucks around the world this year. Faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other vehicles is linked to at least 13 deaths and more than 50 accidents. The U.S. Transportation Department in May fined GM $35 million for the safety issues related to the delayed recall.
According to a GM spokesperson, there are about 68 million registered GM vehicles on the road in the U.S. He notes that some of the vehicles recalled this year have been recalled for more than one issue.
Working on behalf of GM, attorney Kenneth Feinberg earlier Monday unveiled a plan to provide compensation for people killed and injured in accidents caused by faulty ignition switches in some of the automaker's vehicles. The GM compensation fund will offer claimants at least $1 million, plus other payouts.
Victims in the latest round of recalls won't be included in the fund, GM spokesman Alan Adler said.
Following the latest barrage of recalls, GM chief Mary Barra said the company has "worked aggressively" to identify vehicle problems that could threaten the safety of its customers.
"Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles," she said in a statement. "That has hardened my resolve to set a new industry standard for vehicle safety, quality and excellence."
Trading in GM shares was briefly halted Monday afternoon. After trading resumed, the stock fell 1.2 percent, to $36.19.
In announcing the latest recalls, GM said it expects to take a charge of $1.1 billion in the second quarter to account for recall-related repairs. That brings the company's writedowns from the recall this year to $2.5 billion.