GM's Proactive Recalls Are a 'Double-Edged Sword,' Analyst Says

DETROIT (TheStreet) -- GM (GM) shares were falling Thursday after the automaker said it has recalled nearly 3 million more vehicles, bringing the year's global recall total to about 12.8 million vehicles.

Of the year's recalls, 11.2 million -- including 2.7 million announced Thursday -- are in the U.S.

In early afternoon trading, GM shares were down 77 cents to $34.17. Shares are down 16% year to date. The company said it would take a second-quarter charge of approximately $200 million from Thursday's recall. It took a first-quarter recall-related charge of $1.3 billion.

"It's encouraging to see General Motors being this proactive regarding vehicle safety concerns," said Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer, in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, it's also a bit of a double-edged sword."

Since she took over as CEO in January, Mary Barra has appointed a global safety chief and boosted the focus on vehicle defects: GM now five dozen safety investigators on staff, seeking out safety issues.

"The automaker is in this transitional period where all these new safety resources are rapidly identifying a large number of defects," Brauer said. "In the near term, we'll likely see a higher rate of recalls as the company aligns its internal process to a new standard of safety oversight."

Financial analysts have continued to maintain that GM shares have been sold off too quickly. April sales figures seemed to buttress their view that consumers have not been put off by the recalls. In April, GM's sales rose 7% and its retail sales rose 8%. Overall U.S. light-vehicle sales also rose 8%.

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