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GM recalls 8.4 million more vehicles in North America

Kenneth R. Feinberg, the independent claims administrator for the GM Ignition Compensation Program, announces the details of the program and the eligibility for submitting claims. (Associated Press)

General Motors recalled an additional 8.4 million vehicles in North America in Monday, bringing its total for the year to more than 28 million as it copes with a mounting safety crisis.

The vast majority of the vehicles recalled on Monday, 8.2 million, were pulled because of ignition defects linked to inadvertent key rotation. Recalled vehicles with these types of defects include the Chevrolet Malibu, Impala and Monte Carlo; the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Alero; the Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix; and the Cadillac CTS and SRX, with model years ranging from 1997 to 2014.

GM said it knew of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities related to the latest recall. The company will spend an additional $500 million to fix the problems, bringing its total recall-related repair costs to $2.5 billion this year.

Monday’s recall announcement came just hours after Kenneth R. Feinberg, a prominent lawyer who specializes in compensation, detailed the terms of a fund for victims that GM asked him to design and administer. That fund, which is uncapped and from which money will be awarded at Feinberg’s discretion, is intended for deaths and injuries resulting from defective ignition switches installed in 2.6 million small cars that GM recalled earlier this year.

GM’s handling of the ignition-switch recall has prompted congressional inquiries, a criminal probe by federal prosecutors in New York and, most recently, a civil lawsuit that the Orange County, Calif., district attorney filed Friday. Internally, it set into motion a cascade of recalls, as GM seeks to re­assure buyers and investors that its vehicles are safe.

“We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers,” GM chief executive Mary T. Barra said in a statement Monday. “If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation.”

Trading of GM’s stock was halted for about half an hour Monday afternoon as the news about the latest set of recalls was announced. By the market’s close, the company’s stock was down 0.9 percent on the day.

Monday’s recall includes 7.6 million vehicles in the United States, for a total this year of 25 million — a record for a single vehicle manufacturer in the country in one year. The previous record was held by Ford, which recalled 21.4 million vehicles in 1981, according to Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto Safety. The other vehicles being recalled are mostly from Canada.

If GM recalls 6 million more vehicles in the United States in the next six months, the company will have recalled more domestic vehicles this year than all vehicle manufacturers combined have done in a single year, according to Ditlow. In 2004, all manufacturers combined recalled a record-setting 30.8 million domestic vehicles.

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