By Karl Henkel
A recall of every Chevrolet Cruze built at the Lordstown complex should not hamper sales or frighten drivers, an industry analyst said.
Aaron Bragman, an analyst at automotive forecaster IHS, called General Motors Co.’s Wednesday night recall insignificant and said it shouldn’t have an impact on sales, which set record numbers in April, selling 25,160 units.
“Recalls don’t have the same impact on consumers as they used to,” he said Thursday. “All of the past recalls have really had a numbing effect.”
Bragman said the type of recall, deemed precautionary by GM, also plays a factor.
“It’s not as if cars are catching fire,” he said.
The recall, which affects all 154,112 Cruze models, was clarified Thursday by GM spokesman Alan Adler.
He said the decision was made to ensure the intermediate steering shaft was properly installed. The problem could cause a driver to lose steering power.
Of the recalled vehicles, 120,295 of them may have an additional problem with automatic-transmission shift links improperly installed. That problem could cause the vehicle to shift gears unexpectedly, GM says.
Adler said the steering problem should not be confused with the 2,100 Cruzes recalled in April, when one steering wheel detached from its column.
GM decided to announce the steering recall Wednesday, along with the transmission recall.
Terry Woychowski, GM vice president of global quality, had conducted a quality-control inspection at Lordstown earlier in the week. Adler said the inspection and recall did not have a cause-and-effect relationship.
The company alerted customers before a release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Adler said that doesn’t happen often, but GM wanted to be up front with customers.
Adler said the issues arose during manufacturing, but declined to go into details.
“I don’t like to do finger-pointing,” he said. “We’re thinking about the customer and the vehicle.”
Lordstown had previously installed a Dynamic Vehicle Testing system, which can identify engineering-related problems.
GM representatives said no accidents or injuries have been reported because of the two-tiered recall.
The company and dealership representatives both said recall inspections shouldn’t take more than an hour.