GM’s largest recall: 8.4M

By Danielle Ivory / New York Times News Service

Published Jul 1, 2014 at 12:01AM

In a vast expansion of its safety crisis, General Motors recalled more than 8.4 million vehicles worldwide on Monday, bringing its total figures for the year above 28 million cars — more than the 22 million recalled last year by all of the automakers combined.

Among the recalled vehicles, GM said it was aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities. About 8.2 million of the newly recalled cars have ignition defects that lead to inadvertent key rotation, and are models of the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and the Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo and Impala, as well as the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Alero, and Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix. The model years range from 1997 to 2014.

Almost all of GM’s recalls have come since the automaker in February began recalling 2.6 million older Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars with a defective ignition switch that it has tied to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes.

Compensation

Earlier Monday, Kenneth Feinberg, who was retained by GM to develop a victim compensation program, announced the provisions to deal with claims of injury and wrongful death. Families of those killed in crashes will be offered at least $1 million if they can prove the ignition defect caused the crash.

Feinberg, who also led the compensation funds for the 9/11 attacks and the BP oil spill, said people who suffered injuries or families of victims who died because of the defect qualify for settlements and can begin filing claims Aug. 1.

In a statement, GM’s chief executive, Mary Barra, said, “We undertook what I believe is the most comprehensive safety review in the history of our company because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers. Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles. That has hardened my resolve to set a new industry standard for vehicle safety, quality and excellence.”

Trading in GM stock was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange while the announcement was made.

— McClatchy-Tribune News Service contributed to this report.