Pickup Recall: Bad News for GM, Good News for Ford

Chevy Silverado Red Pickup

General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced Wednesday that it’s recalling almost 22,000 of its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks due to a seat malfunction that may put passengers at risk during a collision, according to a press release seen by Reuters.

The company said that in the event of a collision, the seat backs may move more than they should according to regulations and increase the risk of injury, although no accidents or injuries from the defect have been reported. Owners of the recalled vehicles can take their pickups to a GM dealership and have the defect repaired.

General Motors has already been struggling to keep its lead on No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford (NYSE:F), and the truck recall will only reduce confidence in the 2015 models of the pickups that GM has been pushing. Even though the redesigned 2015 pickups have better gas mileage, the Silverado and Sierra haven’t been able to keep up with competition from Ford’s popular F-Series trucks. In September, GM sold 32,506 Chevy Silverados, an 11 percent drop from September 2012. Ford sold 60,456 of its F-Series trucks in the same month.

Ford’s F-Series has routinely been named the top-selling vehicle in America, and reported shortages of the new General Motors trucks with the popular V8 engine have prevented GM from making sales that it could have stolen from Ford. Dealers have complained about the shortage of the new GM trucks, and it’s likely the lack of V8 pickups contributed to GM’s decline in September. Meanwhile, Ford’s new F-150 Raptor trucks have been flying off the lots, and the company has been forced to increase production on the vehicle to keep up with demand.

General Motors is losing its lead on Ford in more than just pickups. GM posted an overall 11 percent drop in sales for September, a figure much higher than analyst expectations of 4.2 percent. In September, GM sold a total of 187,195 vehicles and Ford sold 185,146 while gaining 6 percent versus a year earlier.

GM is recalling a total of 21,721 pickup trucks: 18,972 are in the U.S.; 2,575 in Canada; 103 in Mexico; and 75 outside North America.

Here’s how shares of Ford and GM have been trading in 2013:

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Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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