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Wave of recalls hits General Motors California customers

General Motors is reaching out to its Los Angeles customers but not in a way many are going to like. From January to mid-June, GM recalled 20 million cars around the world. Last month, when the car maker's global recall count was at 15.4 million, Vox reported GM recalls in 2014 surpassed the company's vehicle sales for all of 2013.

The car maker has been quick to identify vehicle defects, since federal regulators slapped the company with a $35 million fine for delaying a critical recall. The fine was related to an earlier recall on 2.6 million vehicles. Faulty ignition switches -- a flaw known by GM officials for over 10 years -- were tied to more than a dozen fatalities.

New recall notices are going out for another ignition switch problem on more than 3.4 million 2000 to 2014 model Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Buicks. Overweight key fobs can cause the ignitions to cut power to the brakes and steering while cars are in motion. The key-related defect was apparent in eight car accidents and caused half a dozen injuries.

GM is smarting under government criticism. The company's sudden string of recalls may be an attempt to beat regulators to the punch. Most recalls for vehicle defects are initiated voluntarily by car makers, although it has become commonplace in recent years for regulators to order them.

The National Highway Traffic Administration's sets the recall rules. Automakers must attempt to inform vehicle owners about the defect, describe the danger the flaw could cause and provide a free solution to the problem. Vox reported, due to complications in tracking down current owners, up to one-third of all defective vehicles never get fixed.

The responsibility for harm caused by dangerous products belongs to a manufacturer and others who make, distribute or sell products to California consumers. Product liability claims can provide compensation for injured victims and their families.

Source: CNN Money, "GM recalls another 3.4 million vehicles" Katie Lobosco, Jun. 16, 201 

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