General Motors has issued an order to stop selling 2013 and 2014 model years of the Chevrolet Cruze compact car because of air bags that might not inflate properly. The automaker has identified 33,000 vehicles, mostly in the U.S. and Canada, with the potential problem and is expected to recall those already sold.
"Certain vehicles may be equipped with a suspect driver's air bag inflator module that may have been assembled with an incorrect part," GM spokesman Jim Cain said in a statement. "We are working diligently with the supplier of the defective part to identify specific vehicles affected and expect to resume deliveries by the end of this week once those vehicles are identified."
On Wednesday, GM told dealers to stop selling the Cruze. The Associated Press says the recall order could come as early as Friday.
"GM's Cruze stop-sale order and possible recall is the latest setback for GM which has already recalled more vehicles this year than in any year in its history. GM has been under intense scrutiny since February for a defective ignition switch in older model Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac 6, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky cars.
"The Cruze stop-sale order follows one last month for about 3,500 new pickups and SUVs as GM investigates an undisclosed 'issue' with the trucks.
"And this is the second stop-sale order on the Cruze this year. The first was in March — an at-first unexplained order covering 2013 and 2014 models with the 1.4-liter engine. It was followed a few days later with a recall of nearly 175,000 of the cars for a potentially defective right front axle shaft.
"GM also this month amended an earlier recall of 2012 Cruze sedans and other small cars for a potential airbag short-circuit, adding about 17,000 Cruzes to the recall."
Meanwhile, Reuters reports:
"General Motors Co tracked more than 800 incidents where air bags did not deploy in the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt, according to a 2012 internal GM memo made public on Thursday by U.S. lawmakers.
"There were 189 cases where front air bags failed to deploy in the 2003-2007 Ion and 626 cases in the 2005-2010 Cobalt, GM air bag engineer John Sprague told manager Doug Wachtel, noting those were 'raw numbers.'
"The cars were recalled earlier this year because of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. The switches could be turned off too easily in some cases, stalling the engine and shutting off power to the air bags.
"The cars were recalled earlier this year because of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. The switches could be turned off too easily in some cases, stalling the engine and shutting off power to the air bags."