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GM Recalls 1.9 Million Cars

April 04, 2002|From Bloomberg News

General Motors Corp. is recalling 1.9 million Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile cars to fix an ignition-switch problem that resulted in smoke or fires in 159 cars and injuries to four people.

The recall involves 1995-1997 Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires and 1996-1997 Buick Skylark, Pontiac Grand Am and Oldsmobile Achieva models, said Jim Schell, a spokesman for the world's largest auto maker. The vehicles will be fixed to prevent a high electrical current through the ignition switch that can cause a fire, the Detroit-based company said.

None of the fires reported have occurred while the cars were being driven, and the fires typically start within minutes of an unsuccessful attempt to start the vehicle, the auto maker said. The injuries were from smoke inhalation, Schell said.

Owners are being told in letters when they should go to a dealership for the free repairs. Auto makers typically have several recalls in a year and the payment for the incidents are taken out of reserves set aside for that purpose. GM didn't say how much the recall would cost.

General Motors shares fell 63 cents to $59.35 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have gained 22% this year.

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