Breaking: GM expands ignition switch recall to over 1.3 million cars amid climbing death toll

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Budget, Sedan, Performance, Recalls, Safety, Hatchback, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn

Saturn Ion Quad Coupe

588,000 Saturn Sky, Saturn Ion, Pontiac Solstice and Chevy HHR models join the 778,000 cars already being recalled.

General Motors has announced a massive expansion of a 778,000-unit recall we told you about two weeks ago, doubling not only the total number of cars affected but expanding the recall beyond Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 models previously mentioned. The recall originally centered around ignition switches that could slip out of the “run” position if jostled or if any weight was applied to the key in the cylinder.

The recall has swollen to over 1.3-million units, and where before it was limited to vehicles built between 2005 and 2007, it now includes vehicles screwed together in 2003 and 2004, as well. Saturn Ion coupes and sedans built between 2003 and 2007, Chevrolet HHR vanlets built between 2006 and 2007 and the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters from 2006 and 2007 are now all included in the recall.

At the same time, the number of accidents being attributed to the faulty ignition switches has grown, as well. Thirteen fatalities in 31 accidents are being blamed on vehicles that switched out of the “run” position without warning, a situation that prevented airbags from deploying. That’s up from the original report’s 6 deaths and 22 accidents.

GM has begun the intensive process of informing owners of the affected vehicles, and according to its press release, available below, it will not limit its efforts to written notifications. In addition to letters, it will reach out via social media and its customer care centers. Owners of affected vehicles are being asked to report to dealers for the installation of a new ignition switch. Those that are delayed in getting the repair should remove any weights, such as keyrings, from their ignition key.

Finally, GM is taking the blame for its lack of oversight, after it was revealed in court depositions that the Detroit-based manufacturer knew about the bad ignition switches while the affected models were still new, by submitting a chronology of events to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been,” Alan Batey, GM’s North American president, said in a statement. “Today’s GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward.”

It would appear that GM has just opened up itself to a great deal of liability and lawsuit potential – we’re looking into the potential ramifications of this admission and recall expansion, and we’ll get back to you when we know more. For now, take a look at the full press release from GM below.

Continue reading GM expands ignition switch recall to over 1.3 million cars amid climbing death toll

GM expands ignition switch recall to over 1.3 million cars amid climbing death toll originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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