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.



Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Sept. 21 2014 11:00 AM Sometimes You Just Need to Print Your Photos the Old-Fashioned Way 
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.