General Motors says its U.S. sales rose one per cent in June despite a record-setting string of safety recalls.

Despite a U.S. economy that grew more slowly than expected, U.S. auto sales were expected to rise one per cent for the month, to 1.4 million cars and trucks, according to TrueCar.com.

Chrysler sales were up nine per cent in its best June since 2007, but Ford suffered a setback, with combined vehicle sales down six per cent. Toyota and Nissan saw increases, while Volkswagen sales were down. 

GM had expected to see sales slip, after recalling 29 million vehicles this year and exposing a dysfunctional safety system in an internal report by Anton Valukas. Its CEO Mary Barra had to testify before Congress about a faulty ignition switch that the company may have known about for 10 years before it initiated a recall.

But it sold more than 267,000 vehicles in June, led by the Buick Encore small SUV which saw sales up 82 per cent. The redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe big SUV also had a strong month with sales almost doubling.

GM dealers in Canada have launched a lawsuit against GM Canada, saying their share of the market is declining and they've had no help from the parent company.

Chrysler sold about 171,086 vehicles in the month, on strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee SUV.

Chrysler's bestseller, the Ram pickup, was up 12 per cent over last June and Jeep brand sales were up 28 on the strength of the new Cherokee, which went on sale late last year.

Toyota's sales were up three per cent as the Camry and Corolla sedans both posted double-digit gains.

Ford's sales dropped 6 per cent as the company cut back on discounts for the F-Series pickup, which is the country's best-selling vehicle. Ford is trying to limit sales of the outgoing F-Series as it prepares to close its truck plants later this year and change over to its new F-150 pickup. F-Series sales fell 11 percent in June to 60,560.

Nissan's sales were up 5 per cent on strong sales of the new Rogue SUV as well as higher car sales. Sales of the Sentra small car were up 68 per cent.

With files from the Associated Press