March 19, 2014 07:59
The biggest U.S. automaker, General Motors, is recalling another 1.5 million vehicles for repairs, pushing the company's recall total to more than 3 million in the last month.
In a video message to GM workers, chief executive Mary Barra vowed to change the company culture and deal quicker with auto manufacturing defects. The latest recall involves concerns about brakes, seat belts and air bags on several recent models, including sport utility vehicles, vans and top-of-the-line Cadillac sedans.
GM, the world's second biggest automaker behind Japan's Toyota Motors, recalled 1.6 million older models in February for defective ignition switches that shut down vehicles while they were being driven, disabling the airbags.
GM has linked the ignition switch defect to 12 deaths in crashes, while a Washington auto safety group alleges that more than 300 people have been killed in accidents because of the problem. GM knew of the ignition switch problem as far back as 2001, and Barra says that company delays in dealing with the problem are unacceptable.
"Something went wrong with our process in this instance and terrible things happened."
She said GM "will be better because of this tragic situation if we seize the opportunity" to deal with manufacturing problems as they are discovered.
General Motors said it expects to spend about $300 million in the first quarter this year to make repairs on all the recalled vehicles.
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