DETROIT, March 17 (Reuters) - General Motors Co will take a $300 million charge primarily to cover the costs related to the faulty ignition switches linked to at least 12 deaths as well as three more recalls it announced on Monday.
The No. 1 U.S. automaker, which will take the charge in the first quarter, did not provide a breakdown of how much was related to the ignition-switch recall of more than 1.6 million older-model vehicles.
GM also said it is recalling more than 1.5 million newer sport utility vehicles, luxury sedans and full-size vans in three separate recalls. While there were reports of engine compartment fires in two dealer-owned Cadillac XTS sedans, the company said it has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to the three new recalls.
“I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a statement. “That is what today’s GM is all about.”
She previously apologized for how GM handled the ignition switch recall and said the company would take an “unvarnished” look at the process while making customer safety and satisfaction the top priority.
“We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes and will have more developments to announce as we move forward,” Barra said on Monday.
The ignition-switch recall has led to government criminal and civil investigations, an internal probe by GM and preparations for hearings by Congress. All ask why GM took so long to address a problem it has said first came to its attention in 2001.
GM said that when the ignition switch was jostled, a key could turn off the car’s engine and disable airbags, sometimes while traveling at high speed. GM has said it received reports of 12 deaths and 34 crashes in the recalled cars, although safety advocate groups have urged a deeper investigation, arguing the number of fatalities involved has been understated.
On Friday, the Detroit automaker was hit with what appeared to be the fist lawsuit related to the ignition-switch recall, as customers claimed their vehicles lost value because of the ignition switch problems. The proposed class action was filed in a Texas federal court.