General Motors confirmed another massive recall of cars on Sunday – adding to the record near 15m vehicles the auto giant has called in so far this year.
The latest problem relates to 221,558 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans the company said had issues with brake pads that increased the risk of a fire.
The recall involves Cadillacs from the 2013-2015 model years and Impalas from the 2014 and 2015 model years. The majority of the cars, 205,309 vehicles, are in the US with the rest in Canada and elsewhere.
“GM is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities as a result of this condition,” the company said.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), letter seen by Reuters, the vehicles had issues with brakes that did not fully retract after use.
“If the vehicle is operated for an extended period of time in this condition, there is a potential for the rear brakes to generate significant heat, smoke and sparks,” the letter said. “Brake pads that remain partially engaged with the rotors may cause excessive brake heat that may result in a fire.”
The latest recall comes after NHTSA’s deputy administrator, David Friedman, faced heavy criticism over the agency’s failure to police GM and force a recall of cars whose faulty ignition switches have been linked to at least 19 deaths.
At a congressional hearing last week Senator Claire McCaskill said the agency was “more interested in singing ‘Kumbaya’ with the manufacturers than being a cop on the beat”.
Friedman staunchly defended the agency, accusing GM of hiding information.
“NHTSA was actively trying to find the ball,” he said at the Senate hearing. “General Motors was actively trying to hide the ball.”
This article was written by Dominic Rushe in New York, for theguardian.com on Sunday 21st September 2014 18.55 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010