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GM sales, used-car values hold up through recalls

DETROIT — Consumers looking for a used vehicle aren’t shying away from GM models — even though more than 20 million GM cars and trucks have been recalled this year.

General Motors cars such as the Chevrolet Malibu have retained or increased in value, sometimes more than rival vehicles. And sales of new cars aren’t slowing either, up 13 percent in May.

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GM has issued 44 recalls in North America this year for parts ranging from ignition switches to air bags. The most serious is for ignition switches in 2.6 million small cars linked to more than 50 crashes and at least 13 deaths. Investigations into that recall have exposed GM as a company that was too slow to react to serious safety issues.

In the past, consumers punished automakers for big recalls. Those companies lost market share — Toyota’s dropped 2 percentage points over 12 months when it recalled 14 million cars for unintended acceleration. Yet GM’s has held fairly steady so far, around 18 percent.

Experts say GM has retained buyers’ confidence by appearing to act quickly on safety matters — even though GM’s internal investigation into the small-car switch recall showed that employees took years to realize they had a safety problem on their hands.

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