Safety recalls are a part of doing business at times, especially in a heavily regulated industry like the American automotive one. Of course, it may be normal to have to recall one particular model or one particular part from time to time, but so far in in 2014, General Motors has gone well beyond “normal” recalls.
While GM product commercials for Chevy, Cadillac or Buick vehicles might promise a peak performance of one sort, GM has delivered a chart-busting number of an entirely new kind. In just last six months, GM has had to recall 29 million vehicles – that’s more than any other automotive company has recalled in a year, and we’re barely more than halfway through 2014.
2014 First Quarter
Before you blame the economy or government bailout, it’s important to note that the problems GM vehicles are experiencing span a decade. In the first quarter of this year, GM recalled vehicles from 2004 through 2014 for a variety of reasons ranging from a loss of power steering to seat belt malfunctions.
2014 Second Quarter
In the second quarter of 2014, GM doubled down. Millions of vehicles dating back to 2003 were recalled for faulty brakes, malfunctioning headlights and seat belt problems among many others. Most notable perhaps was one of the top-of-the-line vehicles in GM’s line. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade was recalled (not even halfway through 2014) for improperly installed airbags. Apparently these are not just old problems GM is being forced to resolve.
Based on graphics like this, it’s easy to see GM’s recalls as a major red flag. After all, when a company has more than a decade’s worth of vehicles recalled, it makes you wonder if anything they built was up to standards.
GM claims that they have implemented new quality controls and that they are “aggressively reviewing product issues and will not hesitate to conduct a recall if it is determined to be the right thing for customers.”
If you’re a gambler, you might wager that GM has turned over a new leaf when it hired 35 new product investigators and began issuing recalls. This might be the start of a new breed of GM vehicles born from the ashes of 29 million recalled ones.
But if you’re not willing to wager your money and possibly your safety on GM’s apparently higher levels of new quality controls, you are certainly not alone.