Wednesday, July 2, 2014
In continuing coverage of GM’s recalls, the CBS Evening News (7/1, story 9, 1:50, Pelley, 5.08M) reports that GM “reported surprisingly strong sales,” increasing by one percent in June compared to June 2013, but noting that the month had two fewer sales days which “equated to a nine percent gain.” Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds.com says that the news is “very counterintuitive,” and CBS notes that GM has already recalled more than 21 million vehicles this year.
The AP (7/2) reports that GM sold over 267,000 vehicles in June, noting that sales of the Buick Encore increased by more than 82 percent in the month. The AP also reports that total auto sales were expected to have increased by one percent in the month.
Bloomberg News (7/2, Irwin, Higgins, Clothier, 2.76M) reports that Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at AutoTrader.com, called GM “amazingly resilient,” saying that “Consumers recognize that the products GM is offering now aren’t the same as the recalled models. If you look at what’s selling, it’s the new stuff that’s doing really well.”
Foxx to keep pressure on GM. The Detroit (MI) News (7/2, Shepardson, 643K) reports that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said of GM that “We’re going to keep putting the screws on this until it gets right.” Foxx said that NHTSA “‘will take a look at the (new) recall(s)’ to see if GM completed them in a timely fashion.” The article reports that he also said “I think they are trying to get things right and go through the fire and figure it out, and hopefully, they’ll do that.” Foxx also noted that NHTSA will be investigating the “broader ignition problems in the industry” as Chrysler has also suffered problems related to faulty ignition switches.
The Hill (7/2, Laing, 237K) reports that Foxx said that the fines issued by his department played a role in increasing GM’s recall activity. He said “The fact that you’re seeing this recall activity I think is part and parcel to the fact that we’ve issued the stiffest … penalty for lack of timeliness that we’ve ever levied.” He said that while the GM ignition switch defect should have been discovered earlier, he thinks “this was an issue of NHTSA didn’t have all the information.”
The Washington (DC) Examiner (7/2, Bedard, 335K) reports that Foxx also said that drivers “need to follow what’s recommended with any recall activity. And if they do that we feel like they’re going to be fine. Just follow up with the manufacturer, go to the dealership, get checked up and keep it moving.” Foxx also said that he does not “have concerns about riding in the GM car that I’m riding in.”
The AP (7/2) reports that the family of Brooke Melton, a 29-year-old killed in a crash linked to the ignition switches is attempting to get their settlement reopened following the revelations of the Valukas report.
Yahoo! Finance (7/2, Newman, 9.7M) reports that GM’s recalls may actually increase the safety and reliability of vehicles as automakers are now “scrutinizing snafus more closely and setting more-sensitive triggers for problems that require top executives’ attention.”Forbes (7/1, 11.38M) reports that while Toyota’s stock plummeted by 20 percent following its 2009 and 2010 recalls, GM’s stock has increased since it began its recalls on February 13. Forbes reports that that consumers viewed Toyota’s brand as nearly “infallible,” while GM did not “possess Toyota’s reputation for benchmark quality.” Forbes also notes that Toyota’s “unintended acceleration” inspired more fear than GM’s “ignition switch recall.”