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Sonic recall tied to missing brakes

General Motors Co. is recalling more than 4,000 of its 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact cars to check for missing brake pads.

Some Sonics could be missing an inner or outer brake pad, which could increase stopping distance. GM said there are no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.

The recall involves 4,296 of GM's 2012 Sonics sold in the U.S. Affected models are from the Orion Township, Mich., assembly plant, which makes Sonics for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Dealers will inspect front brakes on Sonics for missing inner or outer pads and install new pads, if necessary. Customers affected by the recall will receive dealer letters beginning Jan. 14. There will be no cost to the customer, the company said.

The problem was discovered when a rental Sonic was brought in for warranty service.

The missing brake pads -- part of a subassembly of components -- fell off before the cars were assembled and had remained unnoticed at the bottom of containers being shipped to the Orion Township, Mich., factory, GM spokesman Alan Adler told Automotive News.

"This has been fixed by adding a clip to the shipping containers," he told the publication.

Delphi Automotive's subsidiary in South Korea provides GM with the brake assembly for the Sonic.

GM said it expects "very few cars" to be affected by the problem.

The Sonic is the only subcompact car built in the United States, Automotive News reported. GM moved production of the redesigned small car to Michigan after striking a plant-specific deal with the local union at the Orion Township factory.

As part of the agreement, 40 percent of the plant's 1,590-person work force earn an entry-level wage, which starts at $15.78 an hour -- well below the base $28-an-hour pay for veteran auto workers.

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