GM recalls 446,000 pickups, SUVs to stop them from rolling away

General Motors late Friday said it will recall 446,066 four-wheel drive pickups and SUVs to prevent them from rolling away when the transfer case accidentally shifts into neutral.

These are among the company's best-selling and most profitable vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years.

It's the 48th recall for the company so far this year, covering more than 20 million vehicles, a record. GM has told investors it will take a $700-million charge against its second-quarter earnings because of recalls.

The company says the trucks' transmissions can shift into neutral on their own. That can cause loss of power or it can let the trucks roll away if parked. GM says it knows of no crashes or injuries.

After GM notifies owners, dealers will recalibrate the transfer case to prevent it from switching into neutral on its own.

The other recalls are smaller. One covers 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes with defective rear shock absorbers. Another covers the Chevrolet SS and Caprice police cars for windshield wipers. The four recalls affect 485,884 vehicles in North America.

The fourth recall of 29,019 Chevrolet Cruzes from the last two model years in the U.S. was reported late Thursday.

Monday morning, Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney and international disaster compensation expert, is to discuss details of a compensation fund through which GM will offer settlements to families who lost loved ones and to people injured in accidents caused by a defective ignition switch.

That defect is at the heart of a recall of 2.6 million small cars GM sold last decade. GM has acknowledged that the ignition switches, which can be accidentally knocked out of the "on" and into "accessory" position, are tied to 13 deaths and more than 50 crashes.

Copyright 2014 - Detroit Free Press

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