Timing of GM’s Recall Under Question; US Palladium Bar Increases

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General Motors has been accused of a deadly recall delay. The company “in 2006 sent dealers a technical service bulletin warning that because of an ignition problem, a heavy key chain hanging from the ignition could turn off the engine on six models. But only two of those models were covered in last week’s recall of 778,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada for the problem that the automaker now says could keep air bags from deploying in a crash,” reports The New York Times.

“Had General Motors recalled the other four models covered by the technical service bulletin, it would have more than doubled the size of the recall in the United States, where the 619,000 vehicles now subject to recall include the 2007 Pontiac G5 and the 2005-7 Chevrolet Cobalt.”

“In a Feb. 13 letter, G.M. told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the “ignition switch torque performance” was not up to specifications. If the vehicles were jarred or the owner had a heavy key ring, the engine could be turned off, which would disable the air bags, the automaker said.”

“G.M. said it was aware of six deaths in five crashes in which the front air bags did not deploy. But the automaker said some of the crashes involved alcohol, the failure to wear seatbelts and high speeds.”

In metal price news for the automotive sector…

Prices for US palladium bar saw the biggest increase on the weekly Automotive MMI® this week, rising 2.2 percent. In the past week, US platinum bar saw its price shift up 0.9 percent.

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The price of US HDG rose 0.1 percent after falling 1.0 percent during the previous week.

On the LME, a 0.6 percent gain landed the 3-month price of copper at $7,180 per metric ton. The primary copper cash price settled at $7,215 per metric ton this week after shifting up 0.6 percent on the LME. With a 0.1 percent decrease, the Chinese lead price closed the week. Following a steady week, prices for Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet closed flat.

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