On Washington's Glorious Bailout Of The Indispensable GM: Recalls At 16 Million & Rising Equal Two-Years' Sales; Will Now "Recall" The "Recalls"

From Phil LeBeau at CNBC

General Motors, which has already recalled almost 16 million vehicles worldwide this year, is expected to continue issuing more recalls through mid-summer, according to a research note from Barclays.

Barclays analyst Brian Johnson met with senior management at GM and said the automaker is using new techniques to uncover potential defects. As a result, "It is possible that GM may issue further recalls for vehicles, which may have already been recalled."

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In each of the last two weeks the automaker has recalled more than two million vehicles for a variety of safety issues. So far this year, it has recalled about 13.8 million vehicles in the U.S. through 29 separate recalls.

Earlier this week, GM also increased the charge it expects to take in the second quarter to about $400 million, mostly to handle repairs related to the recalls. Including this amount, GM has already this year taken at least $1.7 billion in charges related to the recalls.

Catching problems, announcing recalls earlier

One reason why the automaker's flurry of recall announcements may not slow down is because it's using new techniques to identify potential safety problems. For example, the automaker is using data mining techniques to review complaints, warranty claims and other information about current and previous models to identify safety issues.

GM is hoping to change its perception with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees vehicle recalls. During the ignition switch recall investigation, a NHTSA official accused the automaker of being "slow to act" on potential recalls.

GM has added 30 additional in-house experts from a wide range of departments to further analyze potential defects. GM's head of product development, Mark Reuss, is leading a five-member team that will make decisions on recalls.

"GM is trying to aggressively issue recalls for items as soon as they learn about it, rather than batching the items for a vehicle and waiting—even if there may be negative optics around such a strategy," Johnson wrote....

Year-to-date, General Motors sales are up 0.1 percent while the industry overall is up 3.1 percent, according to research firm Autodata.

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