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December 21, 2014

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General Motors recalls another 718,000 cars and trucks

DETROIT — General Motors issued six more recalls on Wednesday, bringing its annual total to 60 recalls covering almost 30 million vehicles.

The latest recalls cover almost 718,000 cars and trucks. The largest is for faulty seats in just over 414,000 cars and small SUVs. Other problems include incomplete welds on seat brackets, turn signal failures, power steering failures, loose suspension bolts and faulty roof rack bolts

GM is conducting a companywide safety review as it tries to correct a dysfunctional corporate culture in which safety was a low priority.

GM's spate of recalls comes after trial lawyers discovered that the company knew about a deadly small-car ignition switch problem for more than a decade, yet failed to recall the cars until this year. The company says 13 people have died in crashes linked to the switches in 2.6 million older small cars, but lawmakers and lawyers say the death toll is closer to 100.

The company has set up a fund to compensate victims. The bungled recall has brought investigations from the Justice Department and Congress, as well as a maximum $35 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for delays in reporting problems to the agency.

Even before Wednesday, GM had passed its old full-year record of 11.8 million vehicles recalled in 2004. The company also pushed the total number of vehicles recalled in the U.S. by all automakers well over the old record of 30.8 million vehicles, also set in 2004. Automakers have recalled more than 33 million vehicles so far this year.

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