GM recalls another 1.5 million vehicles, will take $300 million charge

DETROIT - General Motors (GM) will take a $300 million charge primarily to cover the costs related to the faulty ignition switches linked to at least 12 deaths as well as three more recalls it announced on Monday.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker, which will take the charge in the first quarter, did not provide a breakdown of how much was related to the ignition-switch recall of more than 1.6 million older-model vehicles.

GM also said it is recalling more than 1.5 million newer sport utility vehicles, luxury sedans and full-size vans in three separate recalls. The automaker said the latest recalls include 1.18 million mid-sized crossovers to repair an issue that could lead to the non-deployment of side airbags. It said it will repair the wiring harness of seat-mounted side airbags.

Affected are some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia crossovers, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverses and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlooks. Most of the vehicles were sold in the United States, but some are in Canada and Mexico.

The Detroit automaker also is recalling 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans to replace plastic material in the passenger instrument panel to meet federal head-impact crash standards for unbelted passengers, a spokesman said. Affected are vans from model years 2009 through 2014 that are rated to carry up to 10,000 pounds including the vehicle's own weight, the spokesman said. Most were sold in the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico and other markets.

In the Cadillac XTS, a brake booster pump wiring issue can lead to overheating, melting of plastic parts and a possible engine compartment fire, the spokesman said. There were two reports of fires in unsold cars on dealer lots in June and September last year as well as two cases of melted components. Affected are 63,900 of the 2013 and 2014 luxury sedans, mostly in the United States, but also in Canada, Mexico and a small number in the Middle East, the spokesman said.

"I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly," GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a statement. "That is what today's GM is all about." She previously apologized for how GM handled the ignition switch recall and said the company would take an "unvarnished" look at the process while making customer safety and satisfaction the top priority.

"We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes and will have more developments to announce as we move forward," Barra said on Monday.

The ignition-switch recall has led to government criminal and civil investigations, an internal probe by GM and preparations for hearings by Congress. All ask why GM took so long to address a problem it has said first came to its attention in 2001.

GM said that when the ignition switch was jostled, a key could turn off the car's engine and disable airbags, sometimes while traveling at high speed. GM has said it received reports of 12 deaths and 34 crashes in the recalled cars, although safety advocate groups have urged a deeper investigation, arguing the number of fatalities involved has been understated.

On Friday, the Detroit automaker was hit with what appeared to be the first lawsuit related to the ignition-switch recall, as customers claimed their vehicles lost value because of the ignition switch problems. The proposed class action was filed in a Texas federal court.

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