Auto Pileup

Despite a switch in drivers, gremlins still torment General Motors

BARELY A WEEK AFTER NEW CEO JOHN F. SMITH Jr. pledged to make General Motors profitable by the end of 1993, his mission appears even more impossible. Most troubling, GM could now face untold costs in settling liability lawsuits relating to fire hazards in its Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks, 5 million of which are still on the road. Newly released internal documents indicate that from 1983 to 1987, GM recognized but failed to correct a design flaw that exposed side fuel tanks during crash impacts, allegedly causing about 300 deaths.

Then, just as Ford and Chrysler were reporting 20% gains...

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