GM Recalls 4 Million Pickups
Thu Mar 18,11:23 AM ET
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news) on Thursday said it will recall more than 4 million full-size pickup trucks to replace tailgate support cables that may corrode and fracture.
The massive recall, one of the largest in eight years, counters recent claims of improved quality at the world's largest automaker.
About 3.7 million of the recalled vehicles are in the United States, 325,000 are in Canada, and 93,000 are in Mexico. The recall includes certain 2000-2004 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras as well as some 2002-2004 Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT trucks.
GM has reported 430 complaints of one or both of the tailgate support cables breaking on the trucks, which became the target of an upgraded investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (news - web sites) late last month.
In a statement on Thursday, GM also reported 134 "minor injuries" linked to the tailgate problem, which it earlier identified as the source of more than 61,000 warranty claims.
No crashes or fatalities have been reported due to the faulty tailgates, GM said.
GM has recalled roughly 7 million vehicles due to potential safety problems since the start of February, including the full-size pickups which account for a huge chunk of its automotive profits.
The recalls, while not uncommon for a mass market automaker, run counter to recent assertions that GM's quality has improved dramatically.
Consumer Reports magazine, citing responses from 675,000 of its readers, said earlier this month that U.S. automakers have edged ahead of their European competitors in new vehicle quality. However, the magazine, which is consulted by an estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of U.S. car buyers, said that the average new Big Three model still has 50 percent more serious problems than Asian cars and trucks.
GM shares were down 44 cents at $46.05 in early trade on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites).
GM said it will replace the steel support cables with stainless steel cables at no cost to customers. However, due to the large number of vehicles involved in the recall, replacement cables will not be available immediately. GM said it won't notify consumers of the recall until sometime beginning in the third quarter of this year.[/b]