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General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies before the Senate Commerce and Transportation Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance subcommittee in Washington April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies before the Senate Commerce and Transportation Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance subcommittee in Washington April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron  

GM Issues Yet Another Recall — Are Any Of Its Vehicles Safe To Drive?

General Motors has just added another 218,000 vehicles to what appears to be an endless list of recalls.

Wednesday’s announcement addressed a potential fire hazard in its Chevrolet Aveo cars in the United States from model years 2004 to 2008.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a faulty part in the vehicle’s daytime running lights, which could potentially overheat and cause a fire.

This smaller recall followed a much larger one on Tuesday, which identified possible safety hazards in 2.42 million vehicles, including 2015 models of the Cadillac Escalade and 2009-2015 models of the Buick Enclave.

The continuum of bad news for the nation’s largest automaker began with the company’s delayed recall of vehicles with faulty ignition switches, which lead to the death of at least 13 individuals – although some believe the death toll might be as high as 53.

This failure to report vehicle safety concerns — and what some have called conscious negligence — landed the company once dubbed “Government Motors” into hot water with the feds.

Just last week, the company agreed to pay a $35 million federal fine for concealing the fatal defect in the ignition switches for over a decade.

But this number is a quarter in the bucket compared to the $400 million charge the Detroit automaker will take for recalls so far this quarter. That’s in addition to a $1.3 billion charge the automaker took for recalls in the first quarter of this year.

In all, GM has recalled at least 15 million vehicles globally since the beginning of this year. To put that figure into perspective, that is more than the total number of cars it sold here in the last five years – it also surpasses GM’s previous U.S. recall record of 10.75 million vehicles, set in 2004.

The country’s top automaker’s competitors have not come close to matching GM’s recall record. Ford has only recalled 1.2 million vehicles in the US this year and rival Toyota has recalled 2.9 million.

Newly appointed GM CEO Mary Barra has apologized for the company’s failure not to recall its faulty vehicles sooner and says that was a condition of the “old” GM culture.

“Old GM” is a reference to the company prior to the government’s $50 billion bailout of the company, as a response to its 2009 bankruptcy.

GM has promised to revamp its safety record. The motor company is now hiring 35 additional safety investigators and says it will continue issuing recalls as soon as it identifies potential problems with its vehicles.

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