GM Has Recalled More Cars This Year Than It Sold in the Last Three Combined

A blog about business and economics.
June 30 2014 7:11 PM

GM Has Recalled More Cars This Year Than It Sold in the Past Three Combined

With 29 million cars recalled, what's left?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the latest expansion of its safety crisis, General Motors said on Monday that it was recalling another 8.45 million vehicles worldwide. Most of those cars were recalled for the kind of ignition-switch defects that have plagued GM all year long and have been linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes. GM said it was aware of seven crashes, eight injuries, and three fatalities among the newly recalled vehicles but could not conclusively say whether they were triggered by the ignition troubles.

GM has now recalled some 29 million vehicles since the start of the year—more than the total number of vehicles it sold in 2011, 2012, and 2013 combined. It's also more than the 22 million vehicles recalled by all automakers combined in the previous year. Payouts to the victims of defect-induced crashes in GM vehicles and their families could end up costing the company several billions of dollars.


Shares of GM lost $0.32 in the afternoon, or a little less than 1 percent, after their trading was temporarily suspended on the New York Stock Exchange while the news broke. The stock has fallen more than 11 percent since the start of the year, despite being up overall in the month of June. It was downgraded dramatically by Morgan Stanley to "underweight" from "overweight" in April.

At this point, it's hard to know whether to be shocked, worried, or just unimpressed when GM initiates another tremendous recall—by now it feels like par for the course. And as I wrote in Slate earlier this month, consumers don't seem to be paying much heed to the news: GM's monthly sales in May rose to their highest level since August 2008.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.