Five crashes involving the new GM-Daewoo-built Chevrolet Aveo prompted General Motors to temporarily instruct dealers not to sell the cars, but the carmaker said on Thursday it had determined the car did not cause the crashes.


GM spokesman Jim Schell, who handles recall and product-safety communications, told Associated Press (AP) the company issued a “stop delivery” notice to dealers late last week but lifted the selling ban on Thursday following an internal investigation.


“The crashes captured the attention of General Motors because there were five crashes in a new product,” he reportedly said. “We halted the delivery to avoid inconveniencing customers. An examination of the circumstances of the crashes and the vehicle involved indicated no vehicle condition was a contributing factor.”


AP said that GM declined to provide any details about the accidents, other than to say they resulted in injuries but no fatalities.


The Aveo has been on sale in North America for only a few months and GM reported 1,559 Aveo sales in the United States in January.


Associated Press said that, with a starting price of $US10,000, the Aveo is designed to give GM a player in a highly competitive segment that includes the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Toyota Echo. Motor industry executives and analysts say low-priced offerings are important because they often are a consumer’s first experience with a carmaker.


GM has said it expects to sell between 50,000 and 70,000 Aveos annually, which would place it near the top of the segment with the Accent and Rio, AP noted.


“The Aveo is really a no-brainer for GM, assuming they can launch it,” CSM Worldwide analyst Mike Wall told AP, adding: “This is ideally what Daewoo was meant to assist with – smaller, lower-cost offerings.”


Associated Press noted that GM has had three recalls this month involving more than 2.5 million vehicles.