General Motors’ U.S. sales rose 9% last month, continuing to defy a sweeping, highly publicized safety recall and smashing expectations on the strength of the automaker’s best month for commercial-fleet business since 2007.

GM sold 267,461 vehicles in June compared with 264,843 units in like-2013. The automaker’s year-over-year result also was boosted by two fewer selling days compared with the same month last year.

“June was the third very strong month in a row for GM, with every brand up on a selling-day-adjusted basis,” Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president-Sales Operations at GM, says in a statement.

“It’s clear that our commercial and small-business customers are expecting a strong second half of the year and they are building their fleets to meet demand.”

GM reports robust demand last month from government fleets as well as commercial fleet customers, where buyers snapped up pickups, vans and small cars. Overall fleet sales comprised 27.6% of June’s deliveries and were flat with year-ago. Rental deliveries plunged, although the automaker expected a falloff from those customers because they replenished their fleets a month earlier than usual.

GM’s June performance comes against intense safety scrutiny, as the automaker works to clean up a messy ignition-switch defect linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes.

The scandal erupted in February and since then GM CEO Mary Barra has testified three times on Capitol Hill, launched a top-down examination of its safety process, and restructured the automaker’s global engineering group and taken disciplinary action against employees responsible for production of the switch in the wake of a third-party investigation.

On Monday GM received a protocol for compensating victims of the defective switches, which could lead a staggering settlement aggregate. Just hours after receiving the plan, the automaker recalled another 8.4 million North American-built vehicles, many with ignition-switch problems and potentially linked to three more deaths.

However, sales so far this year remained 2.5% ahead of 2013.

GM spokesman Jim Cain says customers recognize an overwhelming share of the recalled vehicles comprises models now out of production and a slew of all-new cars, trucks and CUVs now populate its dealerships.

“We’ve got all-new showrooms and all-new facilities,” he says. “That’s carrying the day.”

Chevrolet sales increased 5.6% to 188,576 units in June. Deliveries of the recently redesigned Silverado large pickup surged 21.1% to 43,519 copies, while sales of the all-new Tahoe more than doubled to 11,147 units and its extended-wheelbase sister the Suburban rode a strong year-over-year gain to 6,584.

The Cruze led Chevy’s car portfolio on sales of 26,008 units, although the result was down a sharp 13.4%. The Cruze saw a one-day stop sale in June due to a safety question. Sales of the tiny Sonic and Spark jumped 47.8% and 30.1%, respectively, on combined volume of 13,426.

Buick sales gained 28.3% to 21,403 as the Enclave large CUV bounced back from a lackluster May to account for 6,202 sales and a 13.5% upswing over like-2013.

The GMC Sierra, like the Silverado in its redesigned outfit, sold 15,406 units, up 15.8% and good enough to send brand sales at the division 19.8% higher to 43,550 trucks and CUVs. Sales of the all-new Yukon and Yukon XL large SUVs ballooned to a combined 7,042 deliveries on healthy year-over-year increases.

Cadillac sales rose 8.4% to 13,841. The luxury brand’s best-selling SRX 5-pasenger CUV led the attack on sales of 4,652, up 28.8% over like-2013.

GM says it closed the month with 798,532 vehicles in stock, good for a 72 days’ supply compared with a selling-days-adjusted 77 days’ supply of 815,897 vehicles in May.

jamend@wardsauto.com