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Ford (F), General Motors (GM) Recall 134K+ Vehicles in US

·5 min read

Auto giants Ford Motor Co. F and General Motors Company GM have recently announced separate recalls over safety issues that impact nearly 134,000 vehicles in the United States. EV startup, Rivian Automotive Inc. RIVN, has also issued a recall, although it impacts a significantly lesser number of vehicles.

The Ford recall has been the largest among the three. The company recalled more than 277,000 passenger cars and pickup trucks in the United States on the grounds that there are chances of the rearview camera lens getting cloudy and reducing visibility for the driver. The vehicles impacted by the recall have a 360-degree camera system.

The recall covers certain F-Series trucks, namely F-250, 350 and 450 trucks, and the Lincoln Continental, all belonging to the 2017 through 2020 model years.

The company is of the opinion that the anti-reflective lens on the cameras can degrade, which can result in a cloudy image. More than 8,800 warranty reports have cropped up in the United States due to the problem.

Dealers have been asked to replace the camera free of cost to owners. Ford will notify owners by letter starting Sep 12.

Of late, Ford has gone through a spate of recalls over quality issues. In June, it issued the first recall of its Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks. This was due to a safety issue pertaining to the tire pressure monitoring system. It covered trucks with 20-inch or 22-inch all-season tires.

A few weeks ago, it recalled another 58,000 F-150 trucks over the driveshaft issue. In another instance, nearly 49,000 Mustang Mach-E SUVs were called back due to a malfunction that could result in the engine not starting abruptly or losing propulsion power while in motion leading to dangerous situations, especially on busy roads.

Year to date, Ford has issued 50 recalls, which is the most by any manufacturer, per data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Ford has been doing exceptionally well in its electrification efforts, but recalls continue to plague the auto giant, somewhat leaving a blotch in its performance.

The recall by General Motors is an expansion of a 2014 campaign covering Spark and Spark EV models. Presently, the scope covers nearly 121,000 vehicles because the hoods could fly open while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

It is recalling certain 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark and 2014-2015 Chevrolet Spark EV vehicles, per a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The recall impacts nearly 121,000 vehicles due to malfunctioning hoods that may fly open while driving due to corrosion at the latch pivot.

The affected models comprise 116,223 Chevrolet Spark built between September 2011 and September 2015 and another 4,465 Chevrolet Spark EVs built between August 2012 and November 2015.

Between January 2015 and May 2022, 276 global field reports on the problem have arisen, of which 22 are crash allegations and one minor injury reported.

Dealers were notified on Aug 25, and they will replace the latch assembly free of charge. The automaker will send notices to owners on Oct 10.

GM, like Ford, has been dealing with recalls and has had a number of these, year to date. A few weeks ago, it decided to recall more than 484,000 large SUVs in the United States to fix a malfunction in the seat belts. The problem pertains to the third-row seat belts that might fail to protect occupants during a crash. In April, GM announced that it recalled nearly 682,000 compact SUVs over faulty windshield wipers. In March, the company decided to recall 740,000 SUVs in the United States to address headlight glare problems.

The Rivian recall will be impacting a mere 207 vehicles, covering the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV, which recently went into serial production. Per the automaker’s statements to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, the front seat belt anchors have probably been inadequately attached. A probable glitch in the manufacturing process is likely to have caused the problem.

Customers may experience a noticeable rattling noise from the height adjuster area and excessive movement in the assembly when adjusting the height of the seat belt. The potentially affected vehicle production period is from Jan 28 to Aug 8, 2022. Although no case of accidents or injuries has come to light yet, as mitigation measures, Rivian will inspect the front seat belt assemblies and properly secure the bolts, free of charge. Owners are expected to be notified by letters on Oct 14, 2022.

This is the second recall of Rivian’s R1T to date, the first being in May over a malfunctioning airbag in the front passenger seat. The May recall saw 502 vehicles impacted, produced between Sep 21, 2021, and Apr 12, 2022.

Given that Rivian is a comparatively new automotive startup, recalls, if frequent, may mar the company’s reputation — especially when several auto players are determined to chase ambitious EV targets.

One Year Price Performance

Shares of F have jumped 13.8% and that of GM have declined 23.1% over the past year.

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Zacks Rank & Key Pick

F and GM each carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently.

A better-ranked player in the auto space is LCI Industries LCII, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

LCI Industries has an expected earnings growth rate of 68.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 1.3% upward in the past 30 days.

LCI Industries’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. LCII pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 26.48%, on average. The stock has declined 17.9% over the past year.

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