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By TOM KRISHER
AP Auto Writer
DETROIT (AP) – If it weren’t for the recalls, 2014 would have been a stellar year for General Motors.
Even with $2.8 billion in pretax costs to fix more than 42 million recalled vehicles worldwide and $400 million set aside for death and injury claims, GM still managed to turn a $2.8 billion profit. It plans to raise the quarterly dividend.
Except for the recalls, most of the stars lined up last year for the Detroit automaker. Gas prices dropped more than a buck to $2.26 per gallon. The U.S. economy gained steam. Cheap credit was abundant.
Combined, they sent buyers to GM’s newly redesigned and lucrative pickup trucks and large SUVs in North America, the company’s most profitable market. At the same time, chief competitor Ford’s truck plants were down much of…
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