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GM Announces Its 30th Recall Of The Year Thus Far

General Motors' recall problems continue to mount. On Wednesday, the automaker announced it was recalling 218,000 additional vehicles from its Chevrolet Aveo line.

The daytime running light system in the dashboard of cars from the 2004 to 2008 model years can overheat, melt and cause fires, The Associated Press reports.

It's GM's 30th recall this year and follows Tuesday's recall of 2.42 million other vehicles.

"GM has recalled more cars this year than it has sold in several years combined," NPR's Renee Montagne said on Morning Edition, "and it's only May."

Actually, GM this month has recalled about 5.5 million cars and trucks. All told, the company has recalled 13.8 million vehicles since January at a total cost of $1.7 billion.

That's enough to wipe out much of the company's annual profits, according to The New York Times.

The recalls are an outgrowth of GM's stepped-up safety efforts — and increasing regulatory scrutiny — in light of its failure to report for years cars with faulty ignition switches that caused at least 12 deaths.

As we reported last week, the Transportation Department ordered GM to pay a record $35 million civil penalty for its handling of the recall of more than 2 million vehicles with ignition switch problems. The government said GM violated federal safety laws.

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Alan Greenblatt has been covering politics and government in Washington and around the country for 20 years. He came to NPR as a digital reporter in 2010, writing about a wide range of topics, including elections, housing economics, natural disasters and same-sex marriage.