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General Motors has another spate of recalls to announce. This time they cover 312,280 vehicles worldwide, including 269,041 of in the US, in a total of six campaigns. In 2014, the automaker has recalled 29,079,765 vehicles worldwide, with 25,754,356 of those in the US.
The largest among them covers 215,243 units of the Saturn Vue from 2002-2004 model years worldwide, 202,115 in the US. It's possible for the for the key to be removed even when the ignition isn't in the OFF position. The company knows of two crashes and one injury caused by this problem. Dealers are checking the parts and replacing the ignition cylinder and key set, if necessary.
Next is 72,826 models worldwide (48,059 vehicles in the US) of the 2013 Cadillac ATS four-door sedan, 2013 Buick Encore and 2013 Chevy Trax in Canada. It's possible that the for lap belt pretensioner to retract but not to lock, which could increase occupant movement during a crash. Both front, outboard lap belt pretensioners are being replaced, and a stop-sale is in effect on unsold models until the problem is repaired. There are no known crashes or injuries, though.
Ford buyers appear to love their cars more than customers of any other automotive brand, returning back to the American automaker when it comes time to purchase their next vehicle. According to a study by Experian Automotive, six of the top 10 vehicles for customer brand loyalty wear badges from the Blue Oval. That includes the Ford Fusion (62.4 percent), Ford Edge (57.9 percent), Ford Five Hundred/Taurus (56 percent), Ford Freestyle (51.9 percent), Ford Escape (49.4 percent) and the Ford Focus (47.57 percent).
Other vehicles making up the top 10 include the Toyota Prius (52 percent), Chevy Impala (51.7 percent), Toyota Camry (47.8 percent) and Toyota Corolla (47.56 percent). This brings up an interesting question: With the closing of automotive brands like Saturn and Pontiac, where are those buyers to turn for their next automotive purchase?
Apparently, not back to General Motors. According to Experian, Pontiac owners are most likely to look to the Ford lineup for their next car or truck and Saturn shoppers will switch to Toyota or Honda - not particularly surprising given that Saturn was meant to compete with import brands. Experian predicts that GM's overall market share will fall from 20 percent to about 17.5 percent, with most of the slack being picked up by Ford, Honda and Toyota.
Oprah kicked off her 19th season in dramatic fashion by giving all 276 members of the studio audience a free car.
Molly Vielweber's Pontiac G6 appears unremarkable at first glance. It wears forest green paint, rolls on five-spoke aluminum wheels, and it has a sizeable scrape in the driver's side door, the scar of a decade's worth of hard use. You wouldn't notice it parked at a big box store or cruising on the highway. Pontiac made hundreds of thousands of G6s in the 2000s, and a lot are still on the road. It's unremarkable in every way except for the front license plate, which reads, "Oprah 6."