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General Motors Recalling More Than 2 Million Vehicles

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- General Motors Corp. said Monday it is recalling more than 2 million vehicles, including nearly 1.5 million sport utility vans and pickup trucks that have seat belt design problems.

The recall represented the latest challenge for the world's largest automaker, which last week reported $1.1 billion in losses in the first quarter, its largest quarterly loss in more than a decade.

GM has cited the financial burdens of providing health coverage for its workers and retirees amid lackluster car sales. Sales of the automaker's popular SUVs and large trucks have been off, in part because of high gas prices.

The company said there were only a few minor injuries associated with the six separate recalls and said owners would be formally notified of the problems by mail in the coming weeks.

Among the vehicles affected, the company was recalling 1.48 million SUVs and pickups from the 2003-2005 model years, including the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab, Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche; Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, GMC Sierra Crew Cab, Yukon XL, Yukon, and the Hummer H2s.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said the center safety belt in the second row of the SUVs and pickups, typically used for child seats, was riding high on the occupant's stomach or abdomen. He said there could be a reduced protection in that portion of the body in the event of a crash.

Adler said there have been no crashes or injuries connected to the problem.

"We want people, if they have a safety recall, we want them to get it fixed," Adler said.

The company also announced recalls for the following vehicles:

-- More than 330,000 1500 Series Chevrolet Suburban and Yukon XL from the 2000-2001 model years for potential overheating of fuel pump wires that could lead to engine stalling. There were no known crashes or injuries related to the problem.

-- More than 142,000 1500 Series Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups from the 1999-2002 model years and 2500/3500 Series pickups from the 2001-2004 model years with manual transmissions for parking brake friction. Adler said there were 26 crashes and 1 minor injury connected to the problem.

-- More than 69,000 Buick Lacrosse and Buick Allure 2005 models from Canada for a bent clip that holds part of the brake. If the clip comes off, it would lead to brake loss and a crash, Adler said. There has been one minor crash from the issue.

-- More than 39,000 Buick Rendezvous and Pontiac Azteks from the 2004 model year for intermittent stalling or failure to start because of a faulty ignition relay. GM said it was aware of one minor crash but no injuries.

-- More than 22,000 Saturn L Series Wagons from the 2002-2004 model year because they were built with a center and passenger side rear seat belt anchors that do not comply with U.S. and Canadian safety standards.

The company said the problems will be corrected for free.

In midday trading Monday, GM shares were down 52 cents, or 1.94 percent, to $26.22 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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