GM is in the midst of a large recall. The affected vehicles include 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit (sold in Canada only), 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2007 Saturn Sky models. In total, this brings the number of affected vehicles to 1,367,146.
With the expanded recall, the number of incidents where front airbags were not deployed during a frontal crash has risen to 31. This number includes 13 front-seat fatalities.
Details of the Recall
Under certain conditions, the ignition switch of the affected GM vehicles may move position out of the “on” or “run” position into “accessory”. This may result in a loss of power or the engine may turn off. When this occurs, the air bags may also NOT deploy, which of course can result in injury or fatality in the event of a crash. The conditions that could lead to the ignition to moving out of place include:
- Carrying extra weight on your key ring
- Rough road conditions
- Jarring or impact related events
To Avoid Ignition Issues
Until you can have repairs made to the ignition switch of your vehicle, it is important that you remove everything from your key ring except the vehicle key. Owners should also remove their key fob (that controls the power locks and/or alarm system where applicable) as well.
Background Leading to the GM Recall
Engineers became aware of the possibility that ignition switches could be compromised by jostling keys or a dangling keychain way back in 2004. Engineers suggested that GM alter the keys so that the opening in the key was smaller to prevent added stress. However, instead of changing the keys, GM designed an insert that can be popped into the key opening to make it smaller.
GM sent dealerships a bulletin explaining that that they could provide the inserts to owners who complained about car shut-offs.
What Recall-Affected Owners Need to Know
Dealers are still trying to obtain all of the parts they require to fix the ignition issue within the affected GM cars. As of now, GM expects that their dealerships will have parts at the beginning of April to fix vehicles. Furthermore, GM will contact those customers as soon as dealerships have parts available. After this point, affected customers will be able to schedule appointments to have the repairs made at no charge.
While having the key switch from the “on” position to the “accessory” position can be potentially fatal, GM insists that these vehicles are safe to drive. Moreover, GM engineers have completed an extensive analysis on such vehicles and concluded that, if you only use the ignition key, there is little or no chance that the key will move.
If you’ve been involved in an accident due to this or any other type of defective issue with a vehicle, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Denver based car accident attorneys at the Babcock Law Firm today. Or visit our blog and knowledge center to learn more.