General Motors (GM) announced two more safety recalls over the weekend affecting more than 57,000 vehicles in the United States for problems involving overheating fuel pumps, loose electrical connections, and yet more potentially deadly ignition switch defects. The new recalls came just one day after the Detroit automaker recalled more than half a million cars and SUVs for loose joint and hood latch defects.
On Saturday, GM said that it’s recalling about 47,000 2008-09 Pontiac G8 cars and about 7,600 model-year 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice police cars because drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee, inadvertently switching the key out of the “run” position and cutting off the engine and airbags while the car is in motion.
The automaker also recalled about 10,000 2004-07 Cadillac CTS-V cars and 2005-07 Cadillac STS-V cars for overheating fuel pumps.
“In the affected vehicles, the electrical terminals of the fuel pump module may overheat, resulting in the melting of the flange material,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a summary of the problem. “If the flange melts, a hole may be created, allowing the fuel pump to leak fuel, causing the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash,” the agency said, adding that leaking fuel also posed a risk of fire.
GM also recalled 304 Chevrolet Sonics to repair a loose electrical connection in the steering column that could partially disable the vehicle’s driver-side airbag.
“In the event of a severe crash, the driver’s frontal airbag deployment may be limited to the first-stage deployment only, instead of the intended first-stage and second-stage deployments,” NHTSA said. “If only the first stage of the driver’s frontal airbag deploys without the additional second stage, the driver has an increased risk of injury during a crash.”
On Tuesday, GM announced an additional recall of the same Chevy Caprice police cars that it recalled on Saturday, saying the vehicles are equipped with a special law-enforcement specific transmission selector lever and assembly that don’t meet federal standards.
“When one or more of these pins are displaced, the driver may be able to shift the transmission out of park without depressing the brake pedal, shift without pressing the shift lever detent lock button, and remove the ignition key from the key cylinder when the vehicle’s transmission is not in park,” NHTSA explained, adding that the problem could make it difficult to change gears.
The new recalls bring the total number of General Motors recalls to 76 this year. Altogether, the recalls affect about 30 million vehicles worldwide with 26.5 million of those in the U.S.