Gen­eral Motors Co.’s (NYSE:GM) prob­lems have gotten so bad that this year it has recalled more vehi­cles than it’s sold since the company’s 2009 bank­ruptcy, raising ques­tions about whether the century-​​old car­maker has made any progress under U.S. tax­payer support.

The last time GM had a recall even close to this year’s 13.7 mil­lion vehicle debacle came a decade ago when it ordered 10.7 mil­lion autos back to deal­er­ships for fixes, including faulty Chevy Trail­blazer tail lights and sticky Pon­tiac Grand Am accelerators.

The 30 recent safety recalls, including the one announced Wednesday for 218,000 older model Chevro­lets due to a poten­tial fire hazard, puts into ques­tion how effec­tive $11.2 bil­lion of public rescue funds have been in get­ting GM to improve quality. The answer may be the pub­licly funded rescue had nothing to do with autos at all.

GM has become a client state of the U.S. gov­ern­ment,” Joseph M. Giglio, pro­fessor of strategic man­age­ment at North­eastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, said. “For years it’s been a job bank that hap­pens to make cars.”

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