The major story in the automotive world throughout 2014 so far has been the massive amounts of recalls levied by General Motors, stretching all the way back to the mid and early 2000s. The recalls have involved a myriad of issues with the embattled car-maker’s vehicles, but most famous were problems with ignition switches, which were never disclosed or properly dealt with by company executives. By failing to address the problem, accidents have occurred that have led to multiple deaths and injuries, which in turn led to congressional hearings and the public shaming of General Motors in the eyes of the public.
Lawsuits have also been filed by consumers, seeking not only restitution for damages in relation to the accidents caused by the ignition switch problem, but also because, as a result, the values of customers’ vehicles have gone down. The accelerated rate of depreciation has effected millions of people, and has left many of them angry and looking for answers. The recalls have also eaten into GM”s earnings, bringing on the ire of investors and the stock market.
The company recently released its latest earnings report, which saw profits absolutely nosedive. A profit of $200 million was reported, following costs of $1.2 billion related to the recalls. As USA Today reports, the company has, thus far, issued 60 recalls that have involved more than 26 million vehicles.
Diving into the damage that has been done, iSeeCars, an industry research site, has taken an inside look at what vehicles are suffering the most, in terms of value, from GM’s recalls. The company tracked 11 million used cars on the market between March and June of this year, in order to get an idea of what GM models were losing the most market value, and at what rate. The results found that most cars on the market saw depreciation in price on average of 6.7 percent, while GM recalled vehicles saw an average of 14 percent in value decline.
iSeeCars was also able to determine which models experienced the biggest drops in value, and at what rate they lost it compared to the average of other similar vehicles.
Read on to see the six vehicles experiencing the biggest loss in value as a result of GM’s recalls.
6. Pontiac Solstice
As iSeeCars dove into their investigation, Pontiac’s Solstice compact sports car found its way onto the list of the top six vehicles most heavily affected by GM’s recalls. To get into the specifics, the Solstice saw its worth devalue by 9.7 percent since last year, a rate 1.4 times the average. Affected were models built in 2006 and 2007, encompassing half of the car’s overall production life cycle. The Solstice met its end along with the Pontiac brand, after seeing slightly more than 65,000 total units hit the road.
5. Saturn Sky
The Saturn Sky, an under-the-radar sports car, has seen a 10.6 percent drop in value since last year. For the 2006 and 2007 model years, the Sky is seeing depreciation at a rate 1.6 times faster than average. The Sky was in production from 2006 until 2009, when it eventually saw its end with the rest of the Saturn brand. In all, less than 35,000 units were produced, meaning that the relative damage to consumers is actually quite limited, compared to some of the other mass-market vehicles seeing their values dragged down by recalls.
4. Chevrolet HHR
The HHR, one of Chevy’s less popular models, has taken quite a hit in terms of value as a result of recalls. iSeeCars estimates that since last year, the standard price for an HHR model has dropped 11.5 percent, a rate 1.7 percent faster than average. The estimates apply to the 2006 and 2007 model years, the first two years of HHR production. The HHR’s life cycle ended in 2011, when Chevy pulled the plug. Unfortunately, 2007 was the year that saw the most sales of this Chevy model, and is also one of the model year that is being hit the hardest in terms of lost value.
3. Saturn Ion
Saturn’s popular compact car, the Ion, has taken quite a hit in value since the GM revelations have become public. In fact, for models built between 2003 and 2007, the Ion has lost a remarkable 13.6 percent of its value within the last year alone. That’s two times faster than average, much to the apprehension of those who own it. The Ion’s production ended in 2007, right in the midst of the ignition switch production issue. Ion owners now have to deal with the fallout, as their investment loses value at an accelerated rate.
t-1. Pontiac G5
Tied for first place is the Pontiac G5, which has seen a significant reduction in value from 2013 to 2014. This car’s worth has gone down a whopping 13.7 percent since last year, more than twice as fast as the average. The Pontiac brand has suffered on a number of fronts in the eyes of consumers, which was ultimately part of its discontinuation after GM faced bankruptcy. The recalls have not helped at all, and the G5 has suffered the most of all. The 13.7 percent drop applies to the 2007 model year, one of the final years the G5 saw production.
t-1. Chevrolet Cobalt
Tied with the Pontiac G5 as the vehicle that has suffered the most as a result of the GM recalls is the Chevy Cobalt. According to iSeeCars‘ calculations, Cobalt owners have seen their vehicles depreciate 13.7 percent in the past year, a rate that clocks in at 2.1 times faster than average. This drop effects model years between 2005 and 2007, despite the fact that the Cobalt was in production until 2010. The Cobalt and G5 are brothers, really, as they are essentially the same car, with a different nameplate stuck on the front. This has caused them both to suffer at an equal rate as their values plummet.