General Motors added nearly 1 million small cars this morning to its ignition-switch recall, which has been linked to at least a dozen deaths.
Adding to its headaches, GM has stopped selling certain Chevy Cruze compact cars for no given reason.
After nearly a decade of calls for action from consumer advocacy groups, GM says it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky.
The original recalls in February covered 1.62 million of these vehicles through 2007 models worldwide, but GM added approximately 970,000 vehicles to that recall list overnight.
The recall came because faulty ignition switches in these vehicles could be jostled out of the "run" position on the road, shutting off the engine and disabling the air bags, as well a shutting off the power assist for steering and brakes. The company knows of 12 deaths and 31 crashes linked to the switch defect.
Separately this morning, GM ordered its dealers to stop sales of all 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruzes with 1.4-liter turbo engines, but declined to say why publicly. This morning's Los Angeles Times reports the Cruze is GM’s bestselling compact car in the U.S. It sold nearly 250,000 last year, making it one of the top-selling vehicles in America.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is scheduled to testify about the automaker’s actions at congressional hearings next week.