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Auto blogWed, 12 Nov 2014 13:01:00 EST
General Motors is laying off about 510 workers from two factories beginning in January, and it could be months before the automaker needs some of that latent capacity to come back on line. A combination of poor sales and high dealer inventories are prompting the cutbacks, according to Automotive News.
The largest changes come at GM's Lansing Grand River plant, where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are made. An entire shift of about 350 workers is being laid off, but the automaker hopes to find positions for some of them at other nearby factories. The decision leaves just a single shift building vehicles there. According to Automotive News, the move is partially spurred by Johan de Nysschen's plan to make Cadillac a more exclusive brand.
The lost shift will likely return for production of the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro at the plant, according to the report, but GM isn't saying when that will be. A previous announcement from the Canadian Auto Workers union indicated that the Oshawa, Ontario, factory would lose the coupe in late 2015 or early 2016.
General Motors has announced yet another sprawling recall campaign, with six separate elements covering 717,950 vehicles on US roads. At this point in 2014, it's starting to seem like there are more days with a GM recall than without. Perhaps most troubling about this latest volley, though, is that every vehicle is from the past few years, indicating that GM's quality woes may not be limited to pre-bankruptcy vehicles.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, and includes the 2011 to 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2010 to 2012 Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and the 2011 to 2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse. Only vehicles with powered, height-adjustable seats are covered. In these particular cars and crossovers, the bolt that secures the height adjuster actuator may loosen of its own accord and in some cases fall out completely. If this happens, the seats will be able to move both up and down. GM claims the vehicles are safe to drive, provided drivers don't vertically adjust their seats. This particular issue has caused one crash and three injuries.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, including the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac SRX and the Buick Regal and LaCrosse.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pondering whether to dramatically upscale a pair of airbag recalls on General Motors vehicles. The two existing campaigns, one launched in the fall of 2012 and the other in January of this year covered just 6,845 vehicles, but the government agency is considering whether to boost the recall to around 400,000 units.
The existing recalls involve the the closely related 2012 Buick Verano (shown) and Chevrolet Cruze sedans, along with Sonic and Camaro models. The root of the problem is a shorting bar in the inflator module of the steering-wheel-mounted airbag that may contact the primary state airbag terminal, a condition that could prevent deployment in an accident. Dealer technicians have been replacing the steering wheel airbag coils to fix the issue.
According to a post on NHTSA's website, the root cause, said to be a production issue, may not have been completely isolated - particularly for the second recall, which was for the Camaro. According to Automotive News, GM says it is cooperating with the government investigation, but won't say whether or not it knows the true origin of the problem.