Reuters has learned that an accident that left a woman blind in one eye led to GM's recall of its best-selling car in North America. Fred Katayama reports.
Reuters has learned just what led to GM's recall of about 30,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans. The accident occurred in Georgia. Brandi Owens says when her 2013 Cruze bumped the car in front of her, the air bag detached from the steering wheel and struck her so hard that it ruptured her left eye, leaving her permanently blind in that eye. She sued GM and the air bag supplier, Takata. A source says GM learned of that lawsuit in May, inspected the car, then briefed regulators. A GM spokesman said the air bags on some 2013-2014 Cruze sedans may have been assembled with "an incorrect part." This issue isn't related to problems with Takata air bags that led to recalls by other automakers earlier this week. On Wednesday, GM advised its North American dealers to freeze sales of those model year Chevy Cruzes. Later that day, GM made enough progress locating and identifying the affected cars, so it restricted that order to 33,000 cars, freeing the other ones up for sale. Yesterday, GM CEO Mary Barra said more recalls were possible after 44 recalls covering 20 million vehicles this year. Add one more. This morning, GM said it's recalling 194,000 Buicks made at its joint venture in China after consumers complained about its headlights.