GM announces new recalls in the wake of switch controversy

General Motors announced a new set of recalls Tuesday for 2.42 million vehicles, which come on the heels of controversy over a delayed response to other safety defects.

The new recalls are separate from the ignition switch problem at the center of the controversy roiling the company.

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They include over 1.3 million Buick Enclaves, Chevrolet Traverses and GMC Acadias from 2009-2014, as well as Saturn Outlooks from 2009-2010, for a seat belt problem; over one million Chevrolet Malibus and Pontiac G6s from 2005-2008 for a gear problem; 1,402 Cadillac Escalades from 2015 for an air bag defect; and 58 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras from 2015 for a potential fire hazard. 

The company said there have been no fatalities as a result of these defects.

It also sought to frame the recalls as an indication of its newfound watchfulness after the previous revelations, saying they are part of “a continuing effort to quickly address emerging safety issues.”

GM noted it has added 35 “product investigators” since the beginning of 2014.

The Department of Transportation announced a $35 million penalty against GM on Friday, the maximum amount allowed by law. Regulators said the company failed to act on its knowledge of defects linked to 13 deaths. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting Administrator David Friedman said knowledge of the ignition switch problems went “all the way up through executives.”

Members of Congress have been calling for even tougher penalties.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of a subcommittee overseeing highway safety, told CBS on Saturday that he is proposing legislation to eliminate the cap on fines entirely. 

The Department of Justice is still investigating, which could lead to more penalties for the company.

As for the recalls announced Tuesday, GM says it is aware of 18 crashes and one injury, which are from the Malibu and G6.