The total number of General Motor vehicles recalled in 2014 has climbed to 13.5 million across 29 models, according to the New York Times. GM attributes the latest recalls to its “new standards,” which were put in place after the manufacturer was heavily criticized for failing to act to correct a problem pertaining to faulty ignition switches in many of its models. GM reportedly has been aware of these defects for almost a decade, which have been attributed to at least 13 deaths, according to CNN. To this point, GM has agreed to pay the maximum of $35 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to correct its ignition malfunctions in a timely fashion, but the Justice Department has not ruled out bringing criminal charges against them, according to CNN.
The newest models included SUVs, such as the 2009-14 Buick Enclaves, Chevrolet Traverses and GMC Acadias, and were reportedly recalled due to malfunctioning seat belts that would wear out over time, leaving passengers vulnerable to injury, according to the New York Times. Also included were midsize sedans such as the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6, which are equipped with faulty cables which make it problematic for drivers to shift gears, the New York Times also reported. According to CNN, GM has retained the services of Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert, to begin the process of determining how the company will compensate victims of the delayed recall.