Autos

GM's Latest Recall Wreck Claims the Storied Camaro


Chevrolet Camaro

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Chevrolet Camaro

General Motors (GM) is recalling another huge batch of cars, as it has time and again in recent months, but Friday’s recall announcement is different.

The latest recall includes the current edition of the Chevy Camaro, one of the company’s more storied brands and a paragon of what Detroit has always excelled at: delivering a lot of horsepower per dollar. And it’s a pretty big batch of affected cars, too. GM is telling customers to bring in all Camaros made between 2010 and 2014—almost 512,000 cars in all.

Finally—and most importantly—the newest recalls once again stem from defective ignitions, but this time around the problems are in no way related to the ignition switches that sparked the recall crisis in the first place. The crummy Camaro parts meet all GM engineering requirements, yet they still have a tendency to shut the car off mid-drive given the slightest bump.

Unlike in the original ignition-switch recall, no deaths have been blamed on the Camaro ignition issue. GM diagnosed the flaw internally and said it had so far caused three crashes and four minor injuries. “Discovering and acting on this issue quickly is an example of the new norm for product safety at GM,” said Jeff Boyer, GM’s vice president for global safety.

Many of the models competing with Camaro are started by simply pushing a button. “Why is anyone still using keys?” asked Bloomberg Industries analyst Kevin Tynan.

GM also recalled 68,800 other cars, including 28,800 Saab convertibles made between 2004 and 2011 (fragile seat-belt cables), 21,600 Chevy Sonics from 2012 (fractured transmissions), and 14,800 Buick LaCrosse sedans in the current model year (glitches with window controls). All those problems are relatively small and shouldn’t put off car shoppers.

The Camaro, on the other hand, is one of the company’s more reliable brands. Chevy has been selling them since 1966, and the most recent iteration, the Z/28, has been thrilling the auto world. It has a massive V8 engine and can outrun the new Porsche 911 at the storied Nurburgring track—that is, if the driver’s knee doesn’t bump the ignition.

Kyle-stock-190
Stock is an associate editor for Businessweek.com. Twitter: @kylestock

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