General Motors Corp. headquarters.
(AP / Paul Sancya)
DETROIT - General Motors' safety crisis worsened on Monday when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles, including almost 700,000 in Canada, to its ballooning list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches.
The latest recalls involve mainly older midsize cars and bring GM's total this year to 29 million, surpassing the 22 million recalled by all automakers last year. The added recalls also raise questions about the safety of ignition switches in cars made by all manufacturers.
GM said the recalls are for "unintended ignition key rotation" and cover seven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005, the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008, and the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS.
The company is aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving the vehicles, although it has no conclusive evidence that faulty switches caused the accidents.
CEO Mary Barra said the recalls stem from an extensive safety review within the company.
"If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation," she said in a statement.
The announcement of more recalls extends a crisis for GM that began in February with small-car ignition switch problems. GM recalled 2.6 million older small cars worldwide because the switches can unexpectedly slip from "run" to "accessory," shutting off the engines. That disables power steering and power brakes and can cause people to lose control of their cars.
It also stops the air bags from inflating in a crash. GM has been forced to admit that it knew of the problem more than 10 years, yet it failed to recall the cars until this year.