The problems began earlier this year, when GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 32 crashes and 13 deaths since 2006. The company quickly faced a congressional investigation and criminal probe for not recalling the vehicles earlier. This month, GM was fined $35 million by regulators for not recalling the vehicles sooner — the maximum possible penalty.
That crackdown, in turn, seems to have made GM even quicker to recall other vehicles for unrelated problems, no matter how serious. On May 20, the company recalled another 2.4 million vehicles because of potential flaws in cables and plastic clips.
That's not cheap — when an auto company recalls a vehicle model, it promises to pay to fix the problem (and, at times, loan replacement cars to the owners during repairs). GM is already planning to take a $1.7 billion loss on recalls so far this year.