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GM finalizes number of vehicles in air bag recall of large trucks

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Monday finalized the number of newer-model large pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles it is recalling because the air bags may not deploy, lowering the number of affected vehicles.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker, which is dealing with the recall of 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths, said it was recalling 344 of the trucks in North America, most in the United States.

On May 23, GM said it was recalling about 500 of the 2014 and 2015 pickups and SUVs due to a possible faulty part in the air bag sensing and diagnostic module, and had told dealers not to sell the vehicles until repairs were made. GM said at the time that a final number would be released later.

The affected models include 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, and 2015 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs.

GM said on Monday it was still analyzing the cause of the defect and the affected vehicles, including 334 in the United States, cannot be sold until the repairs are completed.

Earlier this year, GM recalled 2.6 million older model cars, including Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion, to replace defective switches that can cause engines to shut off while driving, leading to a sudden loss of power steering, power brakes and the failure of air bags to deploy in a crash. GM has announced 30 recalls so far this year, costing it $1.7 billion.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined the company a record $35 million for its delay in handling the faulty part, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission have their own investigations. GM is expected to release results of its internal probe on the issue this week.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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