AUTOS: Toward Total Recall

The auto industry has not yet achieved total recall, but on one type of car it is coming close. So far in the current model run, General Motors has built 560,000 Chevrolet Vegas—and called back 480,000 of them. Last week the latest Vega recall, of 350,000 cars, produced something unusual: it was caused by a flaw related to an anti-pollution device.

The device is a solenoid, a part about the size of a flashlight battery that controls the engine's idling speed. It is supposed to ensure that pollutants are properly burned before entering into the exhaust. The solenoid itself did not...

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