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GM issues third recall on SUVs that can catch fire

General Motors’ troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire.

The problem, revealed in documents posted by federal safety regulators this week, is so serious that GM is telling customers to park the SUVs outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended.

The vehicles will be left outside for a while. Parts won’t be ready until October at the earliest, according to GM. The automaker also has ordered its dealers to stop selling the SUVs as used cars until they are fixed.

The recall covers about 189,000 vehicles in North America, mainly from the 2006 and 2007 model years. Models affected include the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainer, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 97-X. The recall was one of six announced by GM on June 30 that covered 7.6 million vehicles.

GM is in the midst of the biggest safety crisis in its history, touched off by the delayed recall of 2.6 million older small cars to fix faulty ignition switches. The company has issued a record 60 recalls this year covering nearly 29 million vehicles.

Before this year, GM had been reluctant to issue recalls, at times opting for lower-cost fixes for safety problems. It’s been fined $35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for lapses in reporting the ignition switch problems, which it blames for at least 13 deaths.

After the ignition switch debacle, GM did a companywide safety review, appointed a new global safety chief and pledged to recall cars quickly.

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