Everyone, including the Charleston auto accident lawyers, have noticed the extremely high price of gas these days. The cost of filling up is painful, and car makers in Detroit have been looking to ease the burden by putting out hybrid and electric vehicles. Cost effective vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze, while easier on consumers’ pocketbooks at the pump, have helped American auto makers get back into black figures after their bailout.
General Motors introduced the Cruze last October as an answer to the Toyota Corolla and other small car rivals. And with the price of gas rising almost 50 percent since the Cruze hit the market, the timing of the fuel-efficient compact’s release could not have been better, and GM’s bottom line shows it.
Last quarter GM, with lots of help from Cruze sales, boasted a profit of $3.2 billion. Sales of the Cruze topped more than 50,000 in the last quarter alone, helping the U.S. manufacturer gain a share in a market traditionally dominated by the Japanese.
By stark contrast, back in the Summer of 2008, when gas prices spiked over $4, GM lost $4.4 billion, in large part because the auto maker didn’t offer many cars with the kind of mileage consumers can get out of the Cruze, 36 mpg on the highway.
But, even with all the success from the Cruze, GM has had to recall 150,000 of the compact sedans to verify that their steering shafts were properly installed. GM made the responsible move to recall the vehicles before any auto accidents or serious injuries have been attributed to the defective products. Also, the recall comes before any consumer complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.