US: GM recall not unprecedented - analyst
The GM recall of about 1.3m Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars is not likely to receive nearly as much attention as the Toyota recalls because it is not unprecedented - GM recalls vehicles every year - and consumers do not expect absolute flawless perfection from their GM cars in the way that they do from Toyotas, an auto analyst said on Tuesday.
The recall covers 2005–10 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2007–10 Pontiac G5s, and similar models under different names sold in Canada and Mexico and followed an NHTSA probe following 1,132 complaints of power-steering failures that made the cars hard to control, leading to 14 crashes and one reported injury.
"Toyota loyalists and dealers who feel that the media is unduly attacking the Japanese automaker for its recalls are likely to point to coverage of the GM recall as an example of this bias," IHI Global Insight auto analyst Aaron Bragman wrote in a note to clients.
"The announcement of a recall is neither novel nor shocking when coming from GM. Second, the severity of the recall is not on the same level as the recent Toyota announcements. The GM vehicles are not blamed for any deaths, and when the fault occurs the driver is notified of it. Thus, this is something of an apples-and-oranges situation when compared with the events at Toyota."
"After our in-depth investigation, we found that this is a condition that takes time to develop. It tends to occur in older models out of warranty", GM quality chief Jamie Hresko said in a statement. "Recalling these vehicles is the right thing to do for our customers' peace of mind.
GM insisted the vehicles are still safe to drive, however, as a failure would cause slightly more steering effort at parking lot speeds, and sound a chime to warn the driver of the fault.
GM said it told NHTSA about the voluntary recall on Monday after concluding its own investigation that began in 2009.
GM said it is currently developing a remedy to fix the problem and will notify customers when the plan is finalised.