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Holden issues eleventh recall

Holden Barina Spark

Holden issues 11th recall so far this year, more than any other brand.

Holden has issued its eleventh safety recall notice this year -- more than any other brand or any other time in Holden's history.

Toyota has the second-highest number of recalls with six bulletins issued so far this year, while among the other Top Five brands Mazda and Hyundai have issued two each and Ford has issued one.

The latest Holden bulletin is an expansion of a recall issued in January for the Barina Spark, at $13,990 drive-away the cheapest car in its range.

In January, Holden recalled 102 Barina Sparks because the transmission mount "may develop a fracture" which could cause the manual gearbox to be unsupported and "lead to a loss of control of the vehicle".

The latest recall has added 385 Holden Barina Sparks to the number of cars affected, bringing the total to 487 vehicles.

Holden said it is a precautionary measure and there have been no reports of failures in Australia, "however we will always err on the side of caution … to ensure customer satisfaction and safety".

It is the second recall for a separate issue for the Holden Barina Spark; last month it was recalled because the steering knuckle bolts may not have been tightened correctly and the steering could fail.

Meanwhile, the Holden Commodore has been recalled five times in three months, the Holden Cruze has been recalled twice (one of which was the third recall for the same fault initially reported last year), and the regular Holden Barina model has been recalled once.

The website has issued 11 Holden safety bulletins this year but, in a move likely to confuse consumers, it has removed the first one issued for the Barina Spark in January and replaced it with the latest one issued in August for the same fault.

The Commodore and Cruze are made at Holden's factory in Elizabeth on the outskirts of Adelaide, but the Barina models are made in South Korea, where Holden is likely to source more cars from once it closes its Australian factories in 2017.

Holden already sources most of the vehicles in its line-up from South Korea or Thailand but the company says in the future it will source vehicles from several divisions across the General Motors world.

The next Commodore is likely to be sourced from Opel in Germany, say insiders, and Holden executives have already driven early prototype versions of the 2018 model.

It means the Commodore will have come full circle; the first Commodore introduced in 1978 was an Australian-ised version of the large Opel sedan at the time.

However, Holden is yet to confirm the new front-wheel-drive car will be called a Commodore.

When asked why Holden had issued so many recalls, spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale said: "This is consistent with the approach being taken across (General Motors)."

In North America, General Motors has come under fire for being slow to respond to a recall of defective ignition switches that have so far been linked to at least 19 deaths -- even though the company knew about the fault for 10 years.

It has prompted US Senators to propose "life in prison" for car executives who try to hide recalls, and has led to a class action lawsuit against General Motors by at least 650 owners of the affected cars.

Meanwhile, the Holden Commodore has narrowly avoided what could become Australia's biggest ever recall.

The Chevrolet Camaro -- which shares its underbody and core components with the Holden Commodore -- has also been recalled because of a faulty ignition switch but Holden says the Commodore does not have the same defect even though it uses the exact same part.

Holden Barina Spark recall