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GM issues four new recalls, 2.4 million cars affected

Tue, 20 May 2014 11:54:00 EST

General Motors has announced another set of recalls, covering some 2.42 million cars in the United States. For those keeping track, The General has now recalled over 15 million cars worldwide this year due to various issues.
Here's the breakdown for this most recent set of recalls:
1,339,355 - Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia models from the 2009 to 2014 model years; Saturn Outlook models from the 2009 to 2010 model years

GM recalling another 2.7 million vehicles in five separate campaigns

Thu, 15 May 2014 09:57:00 EST

The recalls keep rolling in from General Motors, evidently keen to avoid repeating the mistakes of the ignition-switch debacle and clean house. This time they're all coming at once, with five separate recalls announced together covering approximately 2.7 million vehicles.
The largest of the five actions involves over 2.4 million units of the previous-generation Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura in order to fix brake light wiring harness, which have been found to be susceptible to corrosion. The recall is separate from the 56k Aura sedans which GM recently recalled over faulty shift cables, not to mention the previous massive recall of 1.3 million vehicles - some of them the same models - but appears to have resulted from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation that started with the G6 almost a year ago.
The second-largest campaign involves the 2014 Chevy Malibu, specifically those fitted with GM's 2.5-liter engine and stop/start system, approximately 140,000 examples of which has been found to have problematic brakes. The issue does not appear to be connected to the recall of 8k Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans (also involving brake woes) which we reported upon last week. Four crashes have been reported in such models, but GM admits it's not yet clear if the problem was a contributing factor in the accidents.

GM repairing 40,500 Pontiac Vibes as part of Toyota airbag recall

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:30:00 EST

General Motors has confirmed to Autoblog that the Pontiac Vibe is included in Toyota's just-announced recall action. The Vibe and the Toyota Matrix share a large number of parts, including the affected cable to the airbag.
"About 40,500 Pontiac Vibes from the 2009-2010 model years are included in the Toyota recall. Toyota designed and engineered the Vibe for Pontiac. GM will service customers with these vehicles when Toyota makes the parts available," said GM recall spokesperson Alan Adler to Autoblog in an email.
The recall covers 1.3 million Toyota units in the US, including 2009-2010 Corolla, Matrix and Tacoma, the 2008-2010 Highlander, the 2006-2008 Rav4 and 2006-2010 Yaris, plus the addition of the 2009-2010 Vibe. The models all have their airbag module attached via a spiral electrical cable. The connections on this cable can be damaged when turning the steering wheel. Once broken, the airbag deactivates and the airbag warning light comes on. Toyota has an improved part, but it's still making preparations to begin repairs. It will begin notifying owners soon.

Sci-fi movie Jinn features car designer, Firebird-bodied Camaro

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:30:00 EST

If you're an automotive engineer being tormented by an immortal being made of fire, then wouldn't you think it best to have a custom coupe called the FireBreather for your getaway car? That's the FireBreather in the image above, adorned by the red wings that once fronted the Pontiac Firebird, running away from a black cloud of evil in a trailer for the movie Jinn.
The Jinn is eternal evil, always waiting for the chance to make things float across rooms before going on homicidal urban rampages. The FireBreather is a Gen-V Chevrolet Camaro - from the V6 to the ZL1 - that's been through Classic Design Concepts' extensive list of exterior and interior modifications, including entirely new front and rear fascias and side skirts, sway bars and springs, Pirelli P Zeroes and an available Edelbrock supercharger.
The movie - FireBreathing chase scenes and all - was shot in Monroe, Michigan. You can watch the trailer below, but since the FireBreather only get a couple of seconds on screen, you can find out more about it on Street Legal TV and its official site.

David Hasselhoff's own KITT replica up for auction

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:03:00 EST

Depending on when and where you grew up, the name David Hasselhoff likely conjures up images of Knight Rider, Baywatch, pop singer, or possibly a washed-up TV actor, but one thing that can never be taken away from The Hoff is his connection to one of the greatest automotive icons in pop culture. The Knight Industries Two Thousand, usually shortened to simply KITT, was the real star of Knight Rider for many fans. Based on a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, the car combined snarky quips for comedy relief and stunts to provide much of the show's actions. Now, Julien's Auctions is selling Hasselhoff's own replica as part of a larger sale of the actor's personal memorabilia collection.
This recreation is based on a 1986 Firebird and comes with all of the tech on the inside that now seems hilariously outdated, like the yoke steering wheel and plethora of buttons. The interior also thoughtfully includes a voice box with over 4,000 sound clips from the show. With a 5.0-liter V8 and an automatic transmission, performance is likely adequate and period correct. According to the listing, this car was created by fans and given to the Hoff. Sadly, the replica doesn't convert to Super Pursuit Mode like KITT could in later seasons, and we most associate KITT with conventional front-hinged doors to go with the power t-tops and ejector seats.
Bidding currently sits $27,500 with eight bids, since starting at $15,000. Julien's predicts it will sell for between $30,000 and $50,000. If there is some nostalgia for KITT in your heart, there is still plenty of time to bid.

GM recalling another 1.3-million cars over power steering woes

Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:53:00 EST

When it rains, it pours. General Motors has announced yet another major recall, covering 1.3 million units in the American market over concerns that the power steering could suddenly fail. As reported by The Detroit News' David Shepardson, GM has now recalled nearly ten times as many cars as it did all of last year.
It's important to note that should this problem arise in these cars, the steering won't fail completely, however, power steering could suddenly stop functioning. Manual steering would still be possible, but as GM says, there's an increased risk of accidents, particularly at lower speeds.
Like the ignition switch recall, this latest problem covers a wide range of vehicles from Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac. Normally, we'd give you the full rundown in paragraph form, but the variety of models and model years means a list is just easier. So, have a look, directly from GM's press release:

Tony Stewart to star in Smoke Is The Bandit web series

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:03:00 EST

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart is making good use of his nickname Smoke in new videos inspired by the 1970s classic Smokey and the Bandit. The original is one of the quintessential automotive movies of its era with a fantastic combination of slapstick comedy and great car stunts in a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. If you've never seen it, check it out immediately.
In the new six-part Smoke IS the Bandit web series, Stewart takes on the role of Burt Reynolds' famous character complete with huge mustache. But instead of trying to smuggle cases of Coors beer it's Mobil 1 oil. The series promises to recreate many of the famous scenes from the movie and includes cameos from other NASCAR drivers.
To complete the look, future videos just need a quality replacement for a young Sally Field to ride shotgun. It would also be really cool if Reynolds could make a brief appearance at some point. Scroll down to check out the trailer and the first episode in the series.

GM expands ignition switch recall to over 1.3 million cars amid climbing death toll

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:00:00 EST



588,000 Saturn Sky, Saturn Ion, Pontiac Solstice and Chevy HHR models join the 778,000 cars already being recalled.
General Motors has announced a massive expansion of a 778,000-unit recall we told you about two weeks ago, doubling not only the total number of cars affected but expanding the recall beyond Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 models previously mentioned. The recall originally centered around ignition switches that could slip out of the "run" position if jostled or if any weight was applied to the key in the cylinder.

This 1927 Oakland is a minimalist hot rod

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 16:57:00 EST

There are hundreds of American automakers that sprung up during the dawn of the automotive era, only to fold into obscurity or get gobbled up by what would eventually become the Big Four (yes, we're counting AMC here). Oakland is one such company, which was the forbearer for General Motors' Pontiac division. Sold until 1931, you simply don't see Oakland-badged cars anymore. Unless, that is, you know Brian Bent.
Bent drives a 1927 Oakland that still rides on wooden wheels. Its original wooden wheels, from the sound of it. That makes this anachronist and his Oakland the perfect subject for a Petrolicious video. Like many of the cars highlighted by Petrolicious, this old Oakland has had some work done to it, featuring a Pontiac flathead engine that's been pushed forward and a clutch pack built by Bent.
Take a look below for a closer look at this rare and fascinating Oakland.

GM knew about fatal Chevy ignition problem decade before recall

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:15:00 EST

Well, this is not good for General Motors. Following a report last week that GM was recalling 778,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compacts over concerns that the ignition could switch out of the "run" position without warning, USA Today reports that the Detroit-based behemoth knew about the issue, which affected 2005 to 2007 Cobalts (the Cobalt shown above and in the gallery is from 2010) and 2007 Pontiac G5s, all the way back in 2004.
The information comes from a deposition in a civil lawsuit against GM, obtained by USA Today, which claims that a GM engineer experienced the issue while the then-new model was undergoing testing. The issue was "solved" when a technical service bulletin was issued in 2005, informing dealers to install a snap-on key cover on the cars of customers who complained about the issue. According to the Cobalt's program engineering manager, Gary Altman, the cover was an "improvement, it was not a fix to the issue."
The case where the depositions were made was from 2010, and involved Brooke Melton, a 29-year-old pediatric nurse in Georgia who was killed on her birthday. At the time, police claimed she was going too fast on a wet, rural road, although it later came out through the black box that her car's ignition had come out of the "run" position at least three seconds before the accident (the max amount of time a black box records before a wreck), disabling her airbags, power steering and anti-lock brakes. According to USA Today, police said Melton was "traveling too fast for the roadway conditions," although it's impossible to know if she'd have been in the wreck, which injured the occupants of another vehicle, had her 2005 Chevy not shut off. GM settled the Melton family's case, although the details remain confidential.