GM has told dealers in the US and Canada to stop selling some Chevrolet Cruze cars due to a potential problem with the airbag.
It said the driver’s side airbag in the affected cars may not deploy properly, due to a wrong part being used.
The part was supplied by Japan’s Takata Corp. A defective part from Takata is already the subject of a major global recall by various car manufacturers.
But General Motors said its issue was not related to a defective part.
GM has told dealers in the US and Canada to stop selling some Chevrolet Cruze cars due to a potential problem with the airbag
Jim Cain, spokesman for GM, was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that the affected Cruze cars “may have been assembled with an incorrect part”.
The recent moves by various car makers to recall million of cars globally were triggered by the use of a defective part rather than a wrong one.
On Monday, Japanese carmakers Honda and Nissan added two million and 755,000 vehicles respectively to the recall they issued last year to replace the defective part.
Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker, recalled an additional 650,000 cars earlier this month to address the issue, taking its total recall tally due to the problem to nearly 2.8 million vehicles.
For GM, the latest move has added to the issues it has faced this year.
The company has recalled more than 17 million cars in the US this year – more than it sold in 2013.
The recalls have been issued due to various problems including faulty ignition switches, possible faulty seat belts, transmissions and air bags, as well as potential fire issues.
In May, GM was fined $35 million for failing to address defects with the ignition switches which have been linked to 13 deaths.
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Board (NHTSA), it was the single highest civil penalty ever levied as a result of a recall investigation.
GM has also raised its expected second-quarter charge for recall expenses to $700 million, up from $400 million.
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According to Global NCAP, five of India’s most popular small cars have failed crash tests.
The tests by Global NCAP showed that if involved in a crash, fatalities or serious injuries could result.
Among the cars tested was India’s talismanic Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car, as well as models made in India by Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai.
The cars were apparently stripped of safety features to make them cheaper for Indian buyers, correspondents say.
The five models accounted for 20% of all sales in the country last year. Estimates say that about 80% of the cars sold in India have price tags of under $8,000.
“It’s worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America,” said the head of NCAP Global, Max Mosley, the former chief of international motorsport.
Those car manufacturers who have spoken out since the safety tests have insisted that safety is of paramount importance and that they will be reviewing the NCAP’s test results.
The car safety watchdog put five models through crash tests, including the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, the Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo.
India Hyundai i10 scores zero stars in Global NCAP crash tests
None of these entry-level cars sold in India are fitted with air bags. They also lack the safety standards that the same models have when sold in North America and Europe, according to the watchdog.
“Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world,” Max Mosley added.
As a result of the tests, Volkswagen has withdrawn its Polo model without airbags.
Volkswagen also said the airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes, would become standard from 1 February along with a 2.7% price increase to offset the costs, the Associated Press reports.
“We are proud to be leading the cause of driver safety,” Arvind Saxena told AP.
Tata has said it is looking at the Nano’s structure for ways to improve its strength, having already added power steering and other features, AP adds.
India also has more road accident deaths than any other country – put down to bad roads, poor driving but also it appears unsafe cars.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are killed on the country’s roads and the numbers have been rising steadily – nearly 140,000 people were killed in 2012, according to the government’s National Crime Records Bureau.
According to NCAP, it is estimated that 17% of these deaths are of car passengers.
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