Get Yer Ignition Switches: GM Begins Repairs on 2.2 Million Cars Recalled in U.S.

Chevrolet dealer

Today won’t be the day to bring in the Silverado for that “check engine” light. General Motors dealers, having received the first shipments of corrected ignition switches, are starting to repair 2.2 million cars in the U.S. that were recalled for sudden engine stalling and associated with at least 12 deaths.

GM is replacing switches in every single Cobalt, G5, HHR, Solstice, Sky, and Ion on the road since the company—having kept the same part number on a previously redesigned switch in order to keep the change quiet—has no clue if any of the current switches are good or bad. In the buildup to last month’s second expansion of the initial February 7 recall and two Congressional testimonies last week, dealers have been giving customers free loaners and rentals, towing, and $500 rebates on new models. Many dealers are extending service hours, as Toyota did during its floor mat and sticky gas pedal recalls in 2009 and 2010.

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“We are working very closely with our supplier. Our executive director responsible for switches is personally looking at the performance of the new switches,” CEO Mary Barra told the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 1. “We will do 100 percent end-of-line testing to make sure that the performance, the safety, the functionality of these switches are safe.”

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