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DETROIT — General Motors has added yet another recall to its growing list for the year.
The recall of 218,000 Chevrolet Aveo subcompact cars is the company’s 29th this year, bringing the total number of recalled GM vehicles in the U.S. to around 13.8 million. That breaks GM’s previous annual record of 10.75 million set in calendar year 2004.
The new recall, posted today on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, covers Aveos from the 2004 through 2008 model years. The daytime running light module in the dashboard center stack can overheat, melt and catch fire. GM is aware of an unspecified number of fires due to the problem, but spokesman Alan Adler says it does not know of any injuries or deaths.
GM says it is still developing a plan to fix the problem and will provide details as soon as possible.
The high number of recalls this year is fallout from a deadly ignition switch problem in compact cars that is responsible for at least 13 deaths. GM has admitted knowing about the problem for at least a decade, yet it didn’t recall the cars until February of this year.
On Tuesday GM announced it would recall 2.4 million vehicles in the U.S. In May alone, GM has recalled about 5.5 million cars and trucks.
Last week the company agreed to pay a $35 million federal fine for concealing deadly defects in small-car ignition switches. Although the company says the death toll from the ignition switches is at least 13, trial lawyers suing the company say it’s at least 53.
The Detroit automaker said it will take a $400 million charge for repairs on all vehicles recalled so far this quarter. That’s on top of a $1.3 billion charge the automaker took for recalls in the first quarter.
Jeff Boyer, the company’s new safety chief, said in a recent interview that the ignition switch recall led the company to examine all of its safety issues, and that has resulted in the spate of recalls. GM has added 35 safety investigators and has moved Boyer’s position up to the level of vice president. “We’re not waiting for warranty trends to develop over time,” he said in the interview. “It’s not only about frequency, it has to be about the seriousness of the potential defect as well.”
Adler said the Suzuki Forenza, which GM made under contract for the Japanese car company, also is affected by the recall. Details of that recall will come from Suzuki, he said.