By Gabe Nelson, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (June 13, 2014) — General Motors Co. announced four more recalls today covering more than 500,000 cars sold in the U.S. — including every Camaro sold since the current iteration of the iconic muscle car went on sale.
The Camaro recall was prompted by an ignition switch problem similar to the one that bedeviled models such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, but GM said the switch meets all engineering specifications and is unrelated to the ignition system used in the cars included in the previous recall of 2.6 million vehicles.
The Camaro recall affects 464,712 vehicles sold in the U.S. from the 2010-14 model years, and another 46,816 sold in foreign markets such as Canada and Mexico.
GM said that a driver's knee can bump the key fob and knock the ignition switch out of the “run” position, cutting power to the engine. The company said it knows of three crashes, resulting in four minor injuries, that may have been caused by this condition.
The company said it discovered the key's potential to be knocked out of position during internal testing this year after the Cobalt controversy began.
The auto maker will make the key and fob independent from each other. The current design conceals the key within the fob; the key is released from the fob with the press of a button.
“Discovering and acting on this issue quickly is an example of the new norm for product safety at GM,” Jeff Boyer, the company's newly appointed vice president of global safety, said in a statement.
The latest round of recalls brings GM's total for the year to 38 actions affecting 16.5 million vehicles, including 14.4 million vehicles sold in the U.S.
The other recalls:
• 21,567 units of the 2012Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. Attributed to what GM described as a mistake by a supplier, the transmission turbine shaft can fracture in cars with the six-speed automatic transmission and the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine.
• 14,765 units of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedan. GM said a wiring splice in the driver's door can corrode and break, cutting power to the windows, sunroof and door chime under certain circumstances.
• 8,789 units of the 2004-11 Saab 9-3 convertible. GM said a cable in the driver's seatbelt tensioning system can break.
This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.