AUTOS: The Wayward Vega

Proud, confident but somewhat irritated, General Motors Chairman Richard Gerstenberg has been running his own campaign to counter the bad publicity tied to the company's recent rash of auto recalls. A few weeks ago he told members of the Pontiac, Mich., service clubs that G.M. is now conducting fewer recalls than in the past. Between 1960 and 1966 the company had 111 auto recalls, compared with 94 during the past six years. Savoring his point, Gerstenberg concluded: "We build them better—much better."

Perhaps Gerstenberg spoke too soon. The day after he gave his speech, Chevrolet dealers were notified to prepare...