Faulty ignition switches lead to GM recall

Published 1:43 pm Friday, April 4, 2014

General Motors has recalled more than 2.5 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches, which have been linked to 13 deaths.

Ignition switches in the recalled cars might move out of the “run” position while underway, shutting off the engine, cutting power assist to the steering and brakes and possibly preventing front airbags from inflating in a crash.

This recall includes the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn ION, and 2007 Saturn Sky. The recall was expanded in the last several days to include the 2008–2010 Pontiac Solstice and G5; 2008-2010 Saturn Sky; 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt; and the 2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR.

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“Several of these recalls are safety issues of which we take very seriously,” said Ken Gibson, a dealer at Greenville Motor Company. “We would like to explain some of the recalls, and how we can solve these problems no matter where they bought the vehicle. Even if you own a Saturn or a Pontiac, bring it to us.”

According to Greenville Motor Company, replacement parts are scheduled to start shipping Monday.  In the meantime, Greenville Motor Company and GM will provide a free loaner or a rental car to people nervous about driving their recalled cars before they are fixed.  The free rental also includes additional costs for insurance for under-insured drivers and covers the extra insurance fees for younger drivers. Owners don’t have to prove their switches are faulty or that they’ve been in accidents to qualify.

Affected owners are also offered cash toward buying or leasing a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. The allowance is intended to assist those customers who are unhappy and may want to trade out of their vehicle.

“This special cash allowance is not a sales tool,” said Charles Haigler, Greenville Motor Company owner.

Aside from the ignition switch issues, General Motors recently announced the recall of 490,000 trucks and 172,000 compact cars. According to company officials, the vehicles, which include the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, as well as the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL with six-speed automatic transmissions, have a loose fitting for the transmission’s oil cooler line could allow oil leaks and possibly lead to fires.

General Motors announced on Monday that it’s recalling more Chevy Malibus, HHRs and Cobalts, Saturn Auras and IONs, as well as Pontiac G6s from model years 2004 to 2010 that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering. GM will replace the vehicles’ power-steering motors, steering columns, power-steering motor-control units or a combination of those free of charge, depending on the vehicle.

Another recall includes seat-mounted side airbags could fail due to a wiring fault in full-size crossover SUVs, including some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverse, some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclave, some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 GMC Acadia, and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlook. Dealers will modify connections in the air bag wiring. GM knows of no injuries or accidents linked to the problem.

The recent recall means the company has now recalled about 4.8 million vehicles in the United States during the first four months of the year.

“No matter where you bought their car or whether we have serviced it in the past, if you are concerned about whether your GM vehicle is the subject of a safety recall, call us with the serial number and we will do all the checking free of charge,” said service manager Fletcher Whittle.