Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stop Me If You've Heard This Story Before...

Actually, don't, because we certainly have...

GM recalls another 1.5 million vehicles
Still smarting from controversy involving a faulty ignition switch, General Motors announced three new recalls involving another 1.5 million vehicles.

The biggest of Monday's recalls affects 1.2 million of its popular crossover SUV models that need to have the wiring for their seat-mounted side airbags fixed. The models involved are the 2008-13 Buick Enclave and the GMC Acadia, along with the 2009-13 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook.

One-and-a-half million vehicles. At this point, it kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it? I mean, the cost of running the recalls - both in terms of the money needed to announce the recall, pay for repairs, etc. as well as the hits to credibility and reputation have got to be exceeding whatever savings GM has gotten from cutting corners. And I'm still trying to understand why the Chevy alone didn't have this same issue in 2008. Isn't it the same vehicle with different cladding? The only thing I can think of is that perhaps the 2008 Traverse didn't offer the side airbags. I thought the vehicles were otherwise identical.

Now, honestly, this is a small thing. It's a warning light and, if ignored, could lead to problems in the future. I'm struggling to see why this is worth a recall - if you ignore the "Check Engine Light" and it's on because your oxygen sensor needs replacing, and you don't replace it, well , it could lead to problems in the future as well. Yes, the wiring should last and not lead to the light going on, but if you ignore it, well, that's something you need to take charge of. (Mental note: I need to get one of those code readers for the Earthf**ker. Nothing wrong now, but why wait?)

It's the death of a thousand cuts, though. They didn't properly wire a safety component, that's the bottom line. Whether it was done on the cheap, or simply in a manner than didn't work is immaterial - the hit to credibility, especially in the wake of a recall that lead to deaths, is yet another nail in the coffin. This was a company that was "too big to fail", so we threw several billion dollars of taxpayer money at them. And the end result is that they went back to the same tired way of doing things that had them on the brink of insolvency.

Then again, when you remove all penalties for underperforming, why change?

That is all.


Tango said...

Friend of mine had a recall on his vehicle.... because the visor sticker regarding rollover risks had started to peel off on a tiny fraction of vehicles sold.

For a sticker.

Dave H said...

Consumer product manufacturers believe it's cheaper to pay for a recall than it is to risk being sued by eleventy-million ambulance chasers and their clients.

B said...

Get a code reader that interfaces with your phone....easier to get updates and better info.

like this:

You'll have to download an app, but they are either free or cheap.

Dave H said...

Thanks B! I spent $60 on a wired code reader a few years ago. Yours is half the price and I won't have to stand on my head in the snow to read it. (Because the check engine light NEVER comes on in the summer.)

ASM826 said...

It's our choice. As Americans, as individuals. If you've bought a GM since the bailout, you've rewarded a socialist buyout of a one great company and the payoff of the UAW.

Send a message. Stop buy GM.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least this is actually an issue (although damn minor), unlike the last recall my mom's Enclave had out on it. I believe it was "the water pump may have a shorter life span if there's no coolant in the system," and the dealer fix was to check if there was enough coolant in the vehicle.

No... I'm not making that up.

ejecto said...

Typical GM. They have a history of not fixing known faults (Corvair, nylon timing gears, etc.) until government/lawsuits/bad publicity forces them to do so.
Continuing flaws for years is a result of: 1) Sheer stupidity and arrogance or, 2) Evil, because it promotes service and car sales.
I tend to believe evil with some stupidity mixed in.
I drove their cars for almost 40 years, but between the above problem, the bailout and killing Pontiac, they will never see another dime of my money!