One month after agreeing to pay $900 million to settle criminal charges arising from an ignition-switch defect, General Motors said Friday it will recall about 3,300 large pickup trucks and SUVs for a similar problem.
This time, the automaker says the problem — found in light-duty versions of its 2014 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras, a few heavy-duty versions, and 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs — was discovered through a new GM “Speak Up For Safety” program before any reports of accidents or injuries.
“A company employee driving his own vehicle told other engineers about it and they submitted the ‘Speak Up for Safety’ form,” said GM spokesman Alan Adler.
The program was created last year in response to the recall of about 2.5 million small cars equipped with ignition switches that could be jostled by a driver’s leg from the “on” to the “accessory” position, cutting electrical power to steering, air bags and other functions. The defect, which some engineers knew about in 2003, was linked to 124 deaths.
The trucks involved in the new recall have ignition lock gears with outer diameters larger than the specified standard, making them difficult to turn. The keys can get stuck in the start position at high interior temperatures, and if driven that way, they could slip into accessory if jostled or the cabin temperature cools, GM said in a statement.
Dealers will replace the ignition lock housing.