It seems like the big recalls affecting millions of cars just won't stop. Toyota issued two recalls this week affecting more than 1.7 million vehicles, while General Motors has decided to add another part to the repair associated with its ignition recall, which affected 2.2 million cars.
In the GM ignition recall, GM has decided to also replace the ignition lock cylinders on the recalled vehicles, in addition to the ignition switches announced in the recall earlier. GM also said that it expects to spend $1.3 billion in the first quarter primarily for the costs or recall repairs and related courtesy transportation. Despite the charge, the company said it expects to report solid performance in its first quarter financials.
Toyota recalled 472,388 cars for a problem with the springs used in the seat rails that may break, possibly causing the seat to slide during a crash and increase the risk of injury to the occupant. Toyota's 2006-2010 Yaris cars manufactured from Aug. 22, 2005, through May 12, 2010, and 2008-2010 Scion xD cars manufactured from April 4, 2007, through May 12, 2010, are affected. The second recall is for a possible problem with a cable that houses the air-bag electronics in the steering column that could become damaged, causing the air bag not to deploy in a crash.
A total of 1,291,449 cars are affected, including 2006-2008 Toyota RAV4, 2006-2010 Toyota Yaris, 2008-2010 Toyota Highlander as well as the Toyota Tacoma, Corolla and Corolla Matrix from the 2009-2010 model year. Pontiac 2009-2010 Vibes, which are sibling cars to the Toyota Corolla Matrix, also are affected and have been recalled by General Motors separately.
While its customary for automakers to mail a letter to owners of cars affected by recalls, these letters now will be more easily identified by a special label that is now required on all recall mailings (shown above). Limited only to manufacturers sending recall information, the new label is designed to help consumers separate this important safety information from misleading sales or marketing materials, and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration will work closely with state and federal authorities to address enforcement issues.
Not sure if your car is affected by the GM ignition recall? Find out more details here.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.