The GM Recall Issued Due to a Faulty Ignition Part Has Been Expanded To Include Additional Vehicles. All of 1.37 Million Cars Were Manufactured In Ohio
General Motors is recalling 1.37 million cars manufactured in Ohio and sold in the United States between 2003 and 2007 due to unexpected engine shut-down. While driving, the engine can switch from “on” to “accessory” which causes the engine to shut down and cause crashes. As of February 27, 2014, GM has admitted to 13 deaths directly related to the engine shut-down. The company is reporting 31 crashes due to the problem. Most of the faulty vehicles were manufactured in Detroit.
GM Recall Details
The recall affects several vehicle models manufactured between 2003 and 2007. Recalled models include:
- Chevrolet Cobalts from 2005-2007
- Pontiac G5s from 2007
- Chevrolet HHR from 2006 and 2007
- Saturn Ion from 2003-2007
- Pontiac Solstice from 2006 and 2007
- Saturn Sky from 2006 and 2007
GM also reports that the ignition defect can occur when it moves from the “run” position to the “accessory” position while driving on rough roads or when pulled by a heavy key chain. When this occurs, the engine shuts off, and the air bags are unlikely to deploy. It is the air bag defect that prompted the recall.
GM officials admitted that they knew of the problem as early as 2004. Crash reports from early crashes involving these vehicles show that the airbags did not deploy in the fatal crashes.
When GM officials announced the recent car recall it also announced a renewed commitment to safety. In 2008, GM began to install safer switches with a different part number than the one used in recalled vehicles. None of these vehicles have been recalled.
GM Recall Controversy
Originally, GM was recalling Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s only. These two vehicles were identified as causing 6 deaths and 21 crashes due to faulty ignition. However, when dealers identified the same ignition part number used in the Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Ion, Saturn Sky, and Pontiac Solstice; GM investigated these vehicles and found 7 additional deaths and 10 additional crashes resulting from the same problem.
Several lawsuits have been filed against GM as a result of the faulty equipment and their delay in addressing the problem. Reports from USA Today state that GM realized the problem as early as 2004. GM settled with one suit based on the death of one woman in the fall of 2014.
Preventing Injury and Death in Recalled Vehicles
Owners of vehicles in the recall can take their vehicles to the dealer for a free ignition replacement. GM advises that drivers remove the ignition key from their key rings to prevent the ignition from moving to the “accessory” position while driving until the ignition is repaired.
Owners of these vehicle models should take their vehicles to a dealer as soon as possible for ignition replacement.