On February 7th, General Motors (GM) announced a major recall of 778,562 of its vehicles. The recall was made because of a faulty ignition switch that when “jostled” causes the engine to switch from a running position to an accessory position. This turns off power steering, power brakes, airbags and other powered systems in the car. Following this first recall, on February 25th GM expanded the recall by adding another 842,103 vehicles that may have had the faulty ignition switch installed.
On March 28th GM added another 873,288 cars to the recall list for this same faulty ignition problem. This new list includes several newer models of the cars recalled in the previous two stages. These cars should have received a redesigned, safer ignition switch but may have been given the old, faulty switch during any repairs. GM says that about 5,000 of these newer models may have gotten the bad switch, but there is no way to be sure which cars got a good switch and which ones didn’t since the part number was not changed.
In a news interview on March 8th, newly appointed CEO, Mary Barra, acknowledged that the recall took too long to be issued and that the company vows to fix its process in order to eliminate the chances of something like this happening again. She also went as far as hiring a global safety chief who will have access to both herself and other top executives to the company — a first for GM and rare in the car industry. GM has now started to generate its own product and safety reviews, and the company has already announced several other recalls this year that will bring the total recall list to 6.3 million cars and trucks. The list of other GM recalls includes the following:
- GMC and Chevrolet full-size commercial vans: recalled because they do not provide a front passenger enough protection from head injuries.
- Several Crossover SUVs: seat-mounted side airbags may fail.
- Cadillac XTS Sedans: may have obscure brake system flaws that may cause the car to ignite.
- A number of small and mid-size cars: this includes some of the cars that were recalled for the ignition switch problems. They may also have faulty steering. (This recall also includes some cars previously repaired but possibly with faulty parts.)
- The Cruze Sedan: axles may break.
- GM’s newest pickup trucks and full-size SUVs: oil lines can leak and create a fire risk.
It is very important to keep up with any recalls made on your vehicle. If your vehicle has been recalled for any of the listed reasons, it should be brought to a dealer to have the issue fixed before there is any harm caused. Take the time to visit Safercar.gov, a website that shares constantly updated recalls and news, and keep yourself and others safe on the road.