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GM recalls swell by 8.2 million

Compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will administer General Motors’s plan for victims.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will administer General Motors’s plan for victims.

DETROIT — General Motors’ safety crisis worsened Monday when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles to its ballooning list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches.

The latest recalls involve mainly older midsize cars and bring GM’s total this year to 29 million, surpassing the 22 million recalled by all automakers last year. The added recalls also raise questions about the safety of ignition switches in cars made by all manufacturers.

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GM said the recalls are for ‘‘unintended ignition key rotation’’ and cover seven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005, the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008, and the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS.

The company is aware of three deaths, eight injuries, and seven crashes involving the vehicles, although it has no conclusive evidence that faulty switches caused the accidents.

Chief executive Mary Barra said the recalls stem from an extensive safety review within the company.

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The announcement of more recalls extends a crisis for GM that began in February with ignition switch problems in small cars. GM recalled 2.6 million older small cars worldwide because the switches can unexpectedly slip from ‘‘run’’ to ‘‘accessory,’’ shutting off the engines.

That disables power steering and power brakes and can cause people to lose control of their cars. It also stops the air bags from inflating in a crash. GM has been forced to admit that it knew of the problem more than 10 years, yet it failed to recall the cars until this year.

GM’s conduct in the small-car recall already is under investigation by the Justice Department and both houses of Congress.

On June 18, US regulators opened investigations of Chrysler minivans and SUVs as part of a widening inquiry into air bag and ignition switch problems in the US industry.

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