GM's SKorean unit recalling nearly 60,000 vehicles

SEOUL: General Motors is recalling nearly 60,000 automobiles in South Korea due to potential problems with steering wheels, fuel hoses and seats, the company's local unit and the government said Sunday.

The recall of 58,696 vehicles will begin Monday and cover four models manufactured in South Korea, said Kim Byeong-soo, a spokesman for GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the country's third-largest automaker.

Recalls in other countries where some vehicles were exported under the Chevrolet and Opel brands will be decided and announced later in accordance with local rules, Kim said. He said China has already announced some recalls, though he did not immediately have details.

A total of 45,957 small SUVs sold in South Korea as the Winstorm and Winstorm Maxx are being recalled due to the possibility that the steering wheel can become separated. The Winstorm is exported as the Chevrolet Captiva, while the Winstorm Maxx is sold overseas as the Opel Antara, Kim said.

A total of 12,604 Lacetti Premiere sedans — sold overseas as the Chevrolet Cruze — are being recalled for possibly defective fuel hoses that could leak, Kim said.

Also, the company is recalling 135 of its Damas model, a small commercial vehicle, over materials in seats that do not meet South Korean safety standards, he said.

Kim said no accidents have resulted from any of the problems and the recalls were decided by GM Daewoo.

The recalls, also announced by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, came after GM Daewoo's South Korean rival Hyundai Motor Co. announced recalls last month of about 47,000 vehicles for problems with door latches.

Calling vehicles in to fix defects, a common practice in the auto industry, has been in focus since late last year when Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. began massive recalls — eventually covering more than 8 million vehicles — over brake and acceleration problems.

GM Daewoo was created in 2002 after Detroit-based GM acquired Daewoo Motor Co., the automobile unit of the Daewoo Group.