Just when the media attention surrounding ignition switch recalls of 2.6 million 2003-2011 Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac compact models started dying down, GM hit two more hurdles: first, the U.S. government fined the company $35 million over lapses on the ignition defect and second, GM just announced even more recalls covering an additional 2.7 million vehicles due to faulty brake light wiring harnesses and several other design flaws.

In order to avoid the mistakes made in the ignition switch recall, GM has elected to act more transparently and roll out the latest recalls in one large campaign. The brake light wiring harness repair campaign will consist of five separate recalls, the largest of which involves over 2.4 million previous generation Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura models. The second largest campaign of the recall involves 2014 Malibu models equipped with the 2.5-liter engine and start-stop system, with 140k units affected.

In addition, nearly 112,000 2005-2007 Chevrolet Corvettes are also on the fix list because of a problem that can lead to the loss of their low beam headlights, as well as over 19,000 2013-2014 Cadillac CTS due to the possibility of windshield wiper failures. The fifth and final recall involves 477 2014 and 2015 model year full-size trucks in order to fix a tie-rod defect that can lead to a crash.

GM spent $1.3 billion in the first quarter to cover costs related to recalls over the course of Q1 2014 and is expecting to spend another $200 million in the second quarter to cover costs associated with the latest slew of recalls.

“Customer safety is at the heart of how GM designs and produces vehicles, and these announcements are examples of two ways we are putting that into practice,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety.

“We have redoubled our efforts to expedite and resolve current reviews in process and also have identified and analyzed recent vehicle issues which require action. These are examples of our focus to surface issues quickly and promptly take necessary actions in the best interest of our customers.”


We last published an update blog post on April 9 highlighting auction prices for recall affected Chevrolet Cobalts. At that time, it didn’t appear as if the recall had a discernable impact on short-term wholesale prices. Recent sales data shows that there is still no real definitive evidence that the ignition switch recall has had a major impact on recalled model prices.

In the chart above, the volatility witnessed on the 2007 Cobalt isn’t uncommon; the roughly $300 swings observed since mid-March have occurred pre-recall, and can be attributed to changes in wholesale vehicle condition, among other things. Over the course of the past several weeks, there’s been even less volatility in 2006 Cobalt prices. In fact, prices have moved in a manner similar to prices of the overall compact segment.

So while the government is punishing GM for their recall missteps, it doesn’t appear as if consumers are.