General Motors is recalling 4,296 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact models to inspect for missing brake pads. The missing part could lengthen the stopping distance, potentially contributing to a crash, the company said today in a statement.
The recall targets 2012 Sonics. The subcompact car -- a replacement for the South Korea-built Chevy Aveo -- went on sale this fall.
GM said the company isn't aware of any crashes or injuries resulting from missing pads. The problem was discovered when a rental Sonic was brought in for warranty service.
The missing brake pads -- part of a subassembly of components -- fell off before the cars were assembled and had remained unnoticed at the bottom of containers being shipped to the Orion Township, Mich., factory, said GM spokesman Alan Adler.
Korea Delphi Automotive Corp. is one of two suppliers that provides GM with brake assembly for the Sonic. GM declined to name the second supplier.
Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams said in a statement that Korea Delphi -- a joint venture between Delphi International and two Korean stakeholders -- isn't associated with the recall of the GM Sonic.
GM's Adler also said the recall isn't a supplier issue and the company has since updated its processes in the assembly plant.
"This has been fixed by adding a clip to the shipping containers," Adler added.
Customers affected by the recall will start receiving letters from their dealers Jan. 14. GM said it expects "very few cars" to be affected by the problem.
"Dealers will inspect the front brakes for missing inner or outer pads," GM said in a statement. If a pad is missing, the dealer will install a new one, and if necessary, a new brake caliber or rotor. There will be no cost to the customer, the company said.
The Sonic is the only subcompact car built in the United States.
GM moved production of the redesigned small car to Michigan after striking a plant-specific deal with the local union at the Orion Township factory.
As part of the agreement, 40 percent of the plant's work force earn an entry-level wage, which starts at $15.78 an hour -- well below the base $28-an-hour pay for veteran auto workers.
The factory, which employs about 1,590 hourly workers, also builds GM's all-new compact car, the Buick Verano.