General Motors doesn't release a recall every day, but you could be forgiven for thinking it does.
Less than a week after issuing four recalls for 2.7 million vehicles, the nation's largest automaker today announced an additional four recalls covering 2.4 million cars, pickups and SUVs. While none of the safety problems GM revealed today have been linked to deaths, a few are serious enough for GM to tell dealers they can't sell the models until fixed and, in one instance, informed owners to not let passengers ride in the front seat.
The four recalls revealed today include:
— 1,339,355 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia full-size crossovers from the 2009-2014 model years and Saturn Outlooks from 2009-2010, because front safety lap belt cables can wear out over time. GM says it will stop selling new Traverses, Enclaves and Acadias until the repairs can be made.
— 1,075,102 Chevrolet Malibus from the 2004-2008 model years and Pontiac G6s from the 2005-2008 model years with 4-speed automatic transmissions. A sister car, the Saturn Aura, was recalled in April for shift cables that could wear out over time, making it impossible to put the car in the right gear or park, or remove the key. GM says it's now adding the other models due to reports of 18 crashes and one injury among Malibu/G6 owners; it's unclear why GM didn't recall all the affected models in April.
— 1,402 new 2015 Cadillac Escalades and Escalade ESVs for a weak plastic weld that attaches the passenger side air bag to the instrument panel, which could keep the air bag from fully deploying in a crash. GM says dealers will stop selling new Escalades until they're fixed, and has sent overnight letters to 224 Escalade owners telling them to not let people sit in the front passenger seat.
— 58 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups from the 2015 model year for clips that hold the generator fuse block to the body, which can come loose and lead to a potential fire.
Taken together, GM says the new recalls bring the total it's set aside for fixing defective vehicles to $1.7 billion this year, stretching back to the ignition problem in 2.6 million cars tied to 13 deaths. with some 29 separate recalls issued so far this year.
Last week, GM admitted it had broken federal law on vehicle recalls, agreeing to pay a $35 million fine to federal auto safety regulators and allow them broad oversight of the company's practices for the next year. So far in 2014, GM has said it needs to fix nearly 14 million vehicles, and given how frequently it's discovering problems, that total seems poised to rise further.