DETROIT— General Motors has added yet another recall to its growing list for the year.
The recall of 218,000 Chevrolet Aveo subcompact cars is the company’s 29th this year, bringing the total number of recalled GM vehicles in the U.S. to around 13.8 million. That breaks GM’s previous annual record of 10.75 million set in calendar year 2004.
The new recall, posted Wednesday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, covers Aveos from the 2004 through 2008 model years.
The daytime running light module in the dashboard center stack can overheat, melt and catch fire. GM is aware of an unspecified number of fires due to the problem, but spokesman Alan Adler says it does not know of any injuries or deaths.
GM says it is still developing a plan to fix the problem and will provide details as soon as possible.
The high number of recalls this year is fallout from a deadly ignition switch problem in compact cars that is responsible for at least 13 deaths. GM has admitted knowing about the problem for at least a decade, yet it didn’t recall the cars until February of this year.
On Tuesday GM announced it would recall 2.4 million vehicles in the U.S. In May alone, GM has recalled about 5.5 million cars and trucks.
Last week the company agreed to pay a $35 million federal fine for concealing deadly defects in small-car ignition switches. Although the company says the death toll from the ignition switches is at least 13, trial lawyers suing the company have put that number at at least 53.
The Detroit automaker said it will take a $400 million charge for repairs on all vehicles recalled so far this quarter. That’s on top of a $1.3 billion charge the automaker took for recalls in the first quarter.
Jeff Boyer, the company’s new safety chief, said in a recent interview that the ignition switch recall led the company to examine all of its safety issues, and that has resulted in the spate of recalls. GM has added 35 safety investigators and has moved Boyer’s position up to the level of vice president.
“We’re not waiting for warranty trends to develop over time,” he said in the interview. “It’s not only about frequency, it has to be about the seriousness of the potential defect, as well.”
Adler said the Suzuki Forenza, which GM made under contract for the Japanese car company, also is affected by the recall. Details of that recall will come from Suzuki, he said.
Automaker plans probe
DETROIT — General Motors CEO Mary Barra has told Washington lawmakers that GM could release an internal investigation into a deadly ignition switch problem and its plan to compensate victims.
Barra met with lawmakers Wednesday on Capitol Hill and told them the investigation and compensation plan could be done in a few weeks, said the aide, who asked not to be identified because the meetings were private.
She also told lawmakers GM can’t keep up with demand for replacement ignition parts for its recall of 2.6 million older small cars. GM expects to catch up in July and start a campaign to persuade people to take cars to dealers for repairs, the CEO told legislators, according to the aide.
The ignition switches in older small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion can slip unexpectedly out of the “run” position, shutting off the engine and knocking out power steering and brakes. The switches also can disable the air bags.
Congress and the Justice Department are investigating GM’s slow response. The company has agreed to pay a $35 million fine assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
GM confirmed that Barra met with legislators and said in a statement that since becoming CEO in January, she has visited “to discuss issues that are important to them.”