By Peninsula Daily News
DETROIT — General Motors announced two more recalls Friday, pushing its total for the year to 71, affecting almost 30 million vehicles in North America.
The biggest of the new recalls covers just over 430,000 Cadillac SRX crossover and Saab 9-4X crossover SUVs, mainly in North America. The company says some rear suspension nuts may not have been tightened properly. That could cause the toe link adjuster to separate from the suspension, possibly causing a crash.
Another covers the Chevrolet Spark mini car because the hoods can unexpectedly fly open.
GM also confirmed Friday that it has told dealers to stop selling Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks that went on sale about two weeks ago until an air bag problem is repaired.
The SUV recall covers SRXs from the 2011 through 2015 model years and Saabs from the 2011 and 2012 model years. GM says the problem has caused three crashes and two injuries.
Dealers will inspect the SUVs and install a new assembly if needed. Unsold SRXs are being checked to make sure the nuts are tightened properly.
The other recall covers nearly 94,000 Chevrolet Spark mini-cars from 2013 through 2015 in the U.S. and Canada. Rust can cause a secondary hood latch to stick, and the hood can open unexpectedly, blocking the driver’s vision and causing a crash. GM says it knows of no crashes or injuries from the problem.
Dealers will replace the latch when parts are available. GM has told dealers not to sell about 13,000 cars on their lots until the repairs are made.
On the pickup trucks, spokesman Alan Adler said dealers nationwide were told Thursday to stop selling them because the air bags weren’t wired properly at the factory in Wentzville, Missouri. A recall is pending. The company is still working on a remedy, which may be a software update, he said.
Most of the trucks remain on dealer lots or at the factory, but GM reported that it sold 47 last month, according to Autodata Corp. GM says that because of the problem, driver air bags won’t work as designed.
GM is calling customers and sending out FedEx letters to notify them, and it’s offering free loaner vehicles while repairs are being made.
The company knows of no crashes or injuries from the problem.
The stop-sale order was first reported Friday by the trade publication Automotive News.
The new trucks are an important launch for GM, which is re-entering a market that Detroit had ceded to Toyota and Nissan. At an investor event this week, a GM executive said the company expects the trucks and the new Chevrolet Trax subcompact SUV to boost annual sales by about 200,000.
The spate of recalls, while troubling for the company, also shows a willingness to address safety problems quickly. GM was fined the maximum $35 million by U.S. safety regulators earlier this year for the delayed recall of 2.6 million older small cars with faulty ignition switches.
The problem caused crashes that are responsible for at least 23 deaths. GM has admitted knowing about the problem for more than a decade yet it failed to recall the cars until February of this year.
General Motors Co. shares edged up 43 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $33.61 in midday trading Friday. Its shares had fallen almost 19 percent so far this year through Thursday’s close.
Other affected models in the recalls are the 2013-14 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban; 2013-14 Cadillac CTS; 2013-14 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL; 2013-14 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV; 2014 Chevrolet Traverse; 2014 GMC Acadia; 2014 Buick Enclave; 2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana and the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.
Toyota pickups recalled
Toyota is recalling 790,000 Tacoma pickup trucks from the 2005-11 model years worldwide, including about 690,000 in the United States, because a rear suspension part could break and possibly puncture the gas tank or damage a brake line, the automaker said this week.
On vehicles with the defect, corrosion could weaken a leaf spring, allowing it to break. “The broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components, including the fuel tank,” the automaker said in a news release.
The action covers 4-wheel drive and Pre-Runner versions of the Tacoma. Amanda Rice, a Toyota spokeswoman, wrote in an email that the company was unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.
But some owners told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they had had close calls.
“A broken leaf spring cut my brake line, and my brakes stopped working with my 8-year-old child in the truck,” one Tacoma owner wrote to the safety agency in June. “I had already replaced a leaf spring on the other side. This could have caused a very serious accident. Luckily, the brakes still had some fluid in them.”
The agency has received at least two dozen complaints from owners, some going back to 2011.
“This is a common problem that is not being addressed by Toyota,” one owner complained in a May 2013 letter to the safety agency.
Toyota received its first report of a problem in 2009, Rice said.
But, she noted, “a single initial report cannot identify a trend and rarely prompts a recall. When we see what might be a trend, we monitor and investigate the issue, and when we believe there is a safety-related defect, we begin a recall.”
In the United States, Toyota’s action covers vehicles in all 50 states.
That is unusual because automakers facing corrosion-related problems often resort to a regional recall, which is usually concentrated in areas where road salt is heavily used in winter.
The safety administration typically allows such regional actions, despite criticism from consumer advocates who say the practice saves automakers money while leaving some consumers at risk.
The agency’s allowance of regional recalls was one of several issues raised by legislators on Capitol Hill this month as they examined the actions of the safety agency. The inquiry was prompted by the regulator’s failure to detect the deadly ignition-switch defect in at least 2.6 million General Motors cars.
Toyota described the Tacoma recall this week as voluntary, but once a manufacturer is aware of a safety problem it must within five business days inform the agency of its plan for a recall or face a civil fine.
These other recall developments have also been reported:
■ In two actions, Harley-Davidson is recalling slightly more than 107,000 motorcycles from the 2014-15 model years because of problems that could either prevent the clutch from disengaging or allow a fuel leak, the company told NHTSA.
The largest recall covers about 105,700 motorcycles that have the clutch problem, according to a report posted on the safety agency’s website.
A torn seal on the clutch system could prevent the motorcycle from being taken out of gear and “could allow the motorcycle to creep forward from a stop which could lead to a loss of control,” the report said.
The report also said Harley-Davidson was aware of 19 crashes related to the problem, three of which resulted in minor injuries. The crashes were classified as “low-speed tip over.”
The models covered by the recall are the Electra Glide Ultra Classic, the Ultra Limited, the Police Electra Glide, the Street Glide Special, the Street Glide, the Tri Glide Ultra, the CVO Limited, the CVO Road King, the CVO Breakout, the CVO Softail Deluxe, the Electra Glide Ultra Classic Twin, the Ultra Limited Shrine and the Street Glide Shrine.
Another 1,384 Harley-Davidson models are being recalled because the fuel tank may not allow the gas cap to seal properly, according to a second report posted on the NHTSA website.
The report said the company was not aware of any accidents, injuries or fires related to the defect. The models covered by the recall are the 2015 XG500 and XG750.
■ Yamaha is recalling about 5,300 FZ-09 motorcycles from the 2014-15 model years because a wiring problem could cause the headlight to go out, according to a report the company provided the safety agency.
■ Volkswagen is recalling about 1,800 Audi Q7 crossovers with diesel engines from the 2013 model year, according to a report the automaker filed with NHTSA.
The automaker said oil might leak into the brake booster, resulting in a loss of power assist to the brakes. The automaker said it was not aware of any accidents related to the defect.