Reuters

(Reuters)

GM Issues Three New Recalls, Cites Ignition Systems

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General Motors Co (GM) began the new year by announcing three new vehicle recalls on Thursday, as the ignition switch crisis continued to dog the automaker after millions of vehicles were recalled in 2014.

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No crashes or injuries were reported in the latest round of recalls involving 83,572 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. GM expects that fewer than 500 will be affected by the defect, an ignition lock actuator with an outer diameter that exceeds specifications.

Still, the issue could spook consumers and investors.

Ignition system problems were behind the record number of recalls made in 2014 by GM, which has struggled to rebuild its reputation following its 2009 bankruptcy.

The recalls hit GM's share price, which fell 14.6 percent during 2014, a year in which shares of rival Ford Motor Co <F.N> rose about 0.5 percent.

GM recalled more than 2.5 million vehicles in 2014 after accidents that caused more than 40 deaths. The compensation program, which is accepting claims until Jan. 31, has received more than 2,200 claims for injuries and deaths as a result of the issue.

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In the primary recall announced on Thursday, the outsized ignition lock actuator can lead to the ignition key getting stuck in the "start" position. If the vehicle is driven that way and experiences a "significant jarring event," the ignition lock cylinder could move into the "accessory" position, affecting engine power, power steering and power braking.

"Also, the timing of the key movement into the accessory position relative to crash sensing could result in the air bags not deploying in certain crashes," company spokesperson Alan Alder said in a statement.

The latest issue was discovered in an internal review following warranty party returns, GM said, and covers certain Chevrolet Silverado light-duty and heavy-duty pickups, as well as Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban; GMC Sierra light duty and heavy-duty pickups, and Yukon and Yukon XL; Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT. It concerns models from 2011 and 2012, and 2007-2014 vehicles that have been repaired with defective parts.

Another of the announced recalls concerns a faulty hose clamp in 56 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickup trucks from the 2015 model year.

The third covers 152 of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC 1500 pickup trucks over concerns the rear axle shaft could fracture while the vehicles were being driven.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by David Gregorio)