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Updated: Tue, 01 Apr 2014 23:58:50 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

How technology is helping drive car recalls



FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008, file photo, the Chevy Cobalt moves on the assembly line at the Lordstown Assembly Plant Thursday Aug. 21, 2008. in Lordstown, Ohio. Toyota�s saga of recalls, investigations and lawsuits related to unintended acceleration foreshadows some of what General Motors faces as it resolves issues related to a faulty ignition switch linked to at least 12 deaths (© AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008, file photo, the Chevy Cobalt moves on the assembly line at the Lordstown Assembly Plant Thursday Aug. 21, 2008. in Lordstown, Ohio. Toyota�s saga of recalls, investigations and lawsuits related to unintended acceleration foreshadows some of what General Motors faces as it resolves issues related to a faulty ignition switch linked to at least 12 deaths (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File) The Associated Press

On Tuesday, General Motors' new chief executive appeared before U.S Congress to explain why the automaker took 10 years to recall cars with a faulty GM ignition switch linked to 13 traffic deaths.

But General Motors is not the only car company dealing with big recalls in recent years. CBC's Havard Gould reports that vehicles today are loaded with complicated hi-tech systems to control everything from speed to emissions to air bag deployment, meaning there's more opportunity for things not to work perfectly.

Cars are becoming more like rolling computers, with estimates of 80 to 100 million lines of code in a modern vehicle.

With such complex systems, the potential for mistakes is there.

Experts say some companies are also trying to minimize the cost of every part that's going into the vehicle which can lead to some shortcuts.

And the auto industry's relatively recent practice of sharing parts between models multiplies problems.

Click on the video above to watch Gould's report.

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