GM Daewoo to recall more than 58,000 defective cars

South Korea’s GM Daewoo, a subsidiary of US carmaker General Motors has announced the recall of 58,696 vehicles due to manufacturing defects. The recall affects Winstorm, Lacetti Premiere and Damas high-end models.


AFP - GM Daewoo, the South Korean subsidiary of US car giant General Motors, Sunday recalled more than 58,000 vehicles because of defects, in the latest blow to Asia's crisis-hit auto industry.

The recall affects vehicles sold in South Korea but will be expanded to include those sold abroad, according to GM Daewoo, the country's third-largest carmaker.

The company gave no immediate idea of the size of the foreign recall, or which countries would be affected.

"GM Daewoo Auto and Technology has reported that it will recall 58,696 vehicles that it has made and sold in Winstorm, Lacetti Premiere and Damas models due to manufacturing defects," Seoul's ministry of land, transport and maritime affairs said in a statement.

The recall will affect 45,957 Winstorm sport-utility vehicles, 12,604 Lacetti Premiere sedans and 135 Damas microvans, the ministry said.

Defective steering wheels were found in Winstorm models sold from 2006 to 2007 while flawed fuel hoses were discovered in Lacetti Premiere cars sold from 2009 to early 2010.

Damas vans sold in 2009 were found to have been manufactured with insufficient fire safety measures, it said.

"A recall will be announced in other countries, where the models were exported, but we have yet to get you the exact figure," a GM Daewoo spokesman told AFP.

Outside South Korea, GM Daewoo sells the Winstorm and the Lacetti Premiere models as the Chevrolet Captiva and Chevrolet Cruze.

The GM Daewoo move follows a series of recalls by South Korea's top automaker, Hyundai Motor, over safety worries in cars sold in the United States.

Hyundai announced on March 2 it was recalling 515 Tucson sport utility vehicles in the US due to potentially defective airbags.

It was the firm's second such announcement in a week, after it said on February 24 it would recall 47,300 of its latest Sonata sedans in the US and the domestic market due to a possible door lock problem.

Recalls have become a sensitive issue after Japan's auto giant Toyota was forced to fix millions of vehicles worldwide.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda apologised to consumers in China early this month days after apologising to angry US lawmakers in Washington for faulty accelerator pedals, amid allegations that the defect was responsible for more than 30 deaths. Toyota reported an 8.7 percent drop in February US sales.

GM Daewoo, which has said it intends to return to profit this year, suffered net losses in 2008 and 2009 amid falling demand in the global downturn.

The company aims to increase its exports 13 percent year-on-year to 1.6 million vehicles this year, and targets a domestic market share of more than 9.9 percent, following a drop to 7.9 percent in 2009.

Hyundai Motors, which controls 70 percent of the South Korean car market, said its US auto sales rose 8.3 percent to 435,064 in 2009, giving it a market share there of 4.2 percent compared with 3.0 percent in 2008.

In 2010 it aims to increase its US market share to 4.5 percent.

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