DETROIT --- General Motors is recalling about 150,000 of its new Chevrolet Cruze compact sedans to verify that their steering shafts were installed properly.
The automaker said Wednesday that it wants to inspect the intermediate steering shaft covers in 2011 Cruze models to make sure they were properly installed. The cars were built in Lordstown, Ohio, and sold in the U.S. and Canada. About 120,000 of the recalled vehicles with automatic transmission will also be checked for proper installation of the transmission shift linkage.
GM says that no crashes or injuries have been attributed to either issue and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received no consumer complaints.
The Cruze has been a hot seller for General Motors. In April, it sold over 25,000, up 84 percent from sales of its predecessor, the Chevrolet Cobalt, in April 2010.
Kia recalls Spectra
DETROIT --- Kia Motors Corp. is recalling more than 58,000 Spectra compact cars registered in cold-weather states because the gas tanks could fall off and cause a fire.
The recall affects Spectra LD models from the 2004-07 model years in 20 states and Washington, D.C., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
The cars have straps that hold the gas tank to the frame. When exposed to road salt, the straps can rust and the tank can fall to the ground, causing a fuel leak and possibly a fire.
Kia said in a statement that it is not aware of any fires caused by the problem.
Dealers will replace the fuel tank straps with zinc-coated parts at no cost to owners. Kia will mail letters to car owners in June, after dealers get parts to fix the problem.
Owners of Spectras can get more information by contacting Kia at (800) 333-4542 or NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.
F-Series still No. 1
U.S. auto sales rose 18 percent in April to 1.16 million. According to AutoData Corp., these were the top-selling cars and trucks last mont, the number of sales and the percentage of change from a year ago:
Ford F-Series: 45,435, 11%
Toyota Camry/Solara : 30,443, 9.1%
Chevy Silverado : 29,342, - 0.9%
Honda Accord: 28,180, - 3.9%
Honda Civic: 26,777, 6.9%
Chevrolet Cruze: 25,160 (new for 2011)
Chevrolet Malibu: 24,701, 49.4%
Toyota Corolla/Matrix : 24,215 , -13.3%
Hyundai Elantra: 22,100, 128.8%
Hyundai Sonata: 21,738, 17.3%
Corvette gets money
BOWLING GREEN, KY. --- General Motors is putting more muscle into making Corvettes.
The automaker said Wednesday it will invest $131 million -- and add about 250 jobs -- at the south-central Kentucky assembly plant that produces the classic sports car.
The investment allows GM to produce the next-generation Corvette at the Bowling Green plant. Work to retrofit the site will begin even as the plant continues to assemble the Corvette for the next two model years, including the 2012 version.
Nearly 400 production workers now assemble Corvettes at the factory, the only GM site that builds the car and home to its production since 1981. About 1,000 people were employed at the plant at its peak in the 1980s, said Chevrolet spokesman David Caldwell.
He said some of the 250 added jobs might be filled by a pool of laid-off workers.
Caldwell said the plant will not expand, but "what happens inside of its walls changes quite a bit." The state has already approved $7.5 million in tax incentives for the project.
The Corvette plant produced about 15,000 of the cars last year.