GM halts sales of Cruze model over airbags

Chevrolet Cruze car on display Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Chevrolet Cruze is one of GM's best selling cars in the US market

General Motors has told dealers in the US and Canada to halt sales of some Chevrolet Cruze cars due to a potential problem with the airbag.

It said the driver's side airbag in the affected cars may not deploy properly, due to a wrong part being used.

The part was supplied by Japan's Takata Corp. A defective part from Takata is already the subject of a major global recall by various car manufacturers.

But GM said its issue was not related to a defective part.

Jim Cain, spokesman for GM, was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that the affected Cruze cars "may have been assembled with an incorrect part".

The recent moves by various car makers to recall million of cars globally were triggered by the use of a defective part rather than a wrong one.

On Monday, Japanese carmakers Honda and Nissan added two million and 755,000 vehicles respectively to the recall they issued last year to replace the defective part.

Toyota, the world's biggest car maker, recalled an additional 650,000 cars earlier this month to address the issue, taking its total recall tally due to the problem to nearly 2.8 million vehicles.

Growing problems?

For GM, the latest move has added to the issues it has faced this year.

The firm has recalled more than 17 million cars in the US this year - more than it sold in 2013.

The recalls have been issued due to various problems including faulty ignition switches, possible faulty seat belts, transmissions and air bags, as well as potential fire issues.

In May, the company was fined $35m (£21m) for failing to address defects with the ignition switches which have been linked to 13 deaths.

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Board (NHTSA), it was the single highest civil penalty ever levied as a result of a recall investigation.

The company has also raised its expected second-quarter charge for recall expenses to $700m, up from $400m.

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