General Motors recalled another 718,000 of its vehicles yesterday to correct defects serious enough to require the action. This puts the number at "nearly 30 million vehicles since the start of the year, by far a record for any automaker and more than half the vehicles recalled by the industry as a whole."
Many of those 30 million were built buy the “old GM,” which the taxpayers bailed out in a unique bit of economic jury rigging that Vice President Joe Biden once liked to celebrate with a clever couplet: “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.”
The vehicles recalled yesterday were built by “new GM,” the one that emerged after the administration had turned bankruptcy on its head and stiffed the bondholders and others to whom GM owed money in favor of the unions. The new company, however, is still building cars that have to be recalled. Same as the old GM. What is called the “corporate culture” did not change. So perhaps this new company will, eventually, mismanage itself into ruin, just like the old one.
That would be the GM that the government rescued without, evidently, learning that the company was carrying a heavy liability in the form of several million defective cars that needed to be recalled, as well as the lawsuits that would be coming from victims of crashes that were caused by those defects.
The company had, of course, concealed this problem, first from its customers, then, from the taxpayers who were out $10 billion.
The bailout, unfortunately, cannot be recalled.