Recall Alert: 2.2 Million Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn Cars Get Second Ignition Recall

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Cars Affected: 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2007-2010 Saturn Sky and 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR

The Problem: This recall covers all of the vehicles recalled previously for ignition switch defects but was issued to include a second repair to the original fix.

The Fix: Now ignition lock cylinders will also be replaced with upgraded units. New keys will be cut and if needed reprogrammed. These fixes are in addition to the ignition switch upgrade from the earlier recall.

What Should Owners Do: GM will contact owners when parts become available and advises that until the repairs are made that nothing should be attached to the ignition key while the car is in use. Concerned owners can contact Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737, Saturn at 800-553-6000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more information.

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By David Thomas | April 10, 2014 | Comments (8)

GM CEO Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Ignition Switch Recalls

GMCEOMaryBarra

GM CEO Mary Barra testified this afternoon before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee investigating the automaker's recall of more than 2.5 million vehicles worldwide for faulty ignition switches that have been blamed in at least 31 crashes and 13 deaths. House committee members took turns grilling Barra with questions focusing heavily on when it came to the automaker's attention that faulty switches had been used in the 2003-10 Saturn Ion and 2007-10 Sky, the 2006-10 Pontiac Solstice and 2005-10 G5, and the 2006-11 Chevrolet HHR and 2005-07 Cobalt, and why after repeated complaints and defect discoveries in subsequent years the faulty ignition switches continued to be used. Panel members also attempted to get to the bottom of how numerous communication breakdowns between GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had occurred.

More GM Ignition Recall News on Cars.com

After reiterating in her opening statement her earlier apology to the victims of the ignition switch problem and their families, Barra repeatedly responded to subcommittee members' questions by saying she would have answers only after GM completed its ongoing internal investigation. One new piece of information Barra did report to House members was that GM has hired lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who has overseen the victim-compensation process after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the BP oil spill and the Boston Marathon bombing.

By Matt Schmitz | April 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 1.3 Million Older Model GM Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.3 million older-model GM vehicles. The affected cars include model-year 2004-06 and 2008-09 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, 2004-06 Malibu Maxx wagons, non-turbo versions of the 2009-10 Chevrolet HHR hatchback, model-year 2010 versions of the Cobalt coupe and sedan, model-year 2008-09 versions of the Saturn Aura sedan, model-year 2004-07 versions of the Saturn Ion coupe and sedan, and model-year 2005-09 versions of the Pontiac G6. GM is also reporting that certain vehicles that had related service parts installed before May 31, 2010, under a previous safety recall may also be affected.

The Problem: GM is recalling the vehicles due to a sudden loss of electric power steering assist, which increases the risk of a crash. If this happens, drivers will be alerted by a message on the driver information center and a corresponding chime. "Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering, but greater driver effort would be required at low vehicle speeds," GM said in a statement.

The automaker also said that it's unaware of any fatalities related to this recall, but some crashes have been reported.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free. Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts are eligible for reimbursement, GM said. Owners of non-turbocharged model-year 2006-09 Chevrolet HHRs and model-year 2003 Saturn Ions that are not part of this recall will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of the electronic power steering motor.  

"With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right. We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough," Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM global vehicle safety, said in a statement.

What Owners Should Do: GM will notify owners, but has not yet released an owner notification timeline. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and Saturn at 800-553-6000 for more information.

More Recalls

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 824,000 GM Vehicles

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Affected Vehicles: About 824,000 model-year 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt subcompact cars and 2008-2011 HHR wagons; 2008-2010 Pontiac Solstice sports cars and G5 subcompacts; and 2008-2010 Saturn Sky sports cars.

The Problem: In this voluntary expansion of the ignition-switch recall already involving 1.6 million vehicles, faulty switches may have been used to repair the latest crop of affected vehicles. According to the automaker, if torque performance is not to GM specification, the ignition switch may unintentionally move from the Run position to the Accessory or Off positions, leading to a loss of power and, as a result, systems such as power steering, antilock brakes and airbags. The risk may be increased if the driver's key ring is carrying added weight, or if the vehicle goes off-road or experiences some jarring event. About 95,000 faulty switches were sold to dealers in the aftermarket and about 90,000 were used in repairs, GM stated, noting that no deaths or injuries have been associated with this new group of recalled vehicles.

"Although the cars were all built with an ignition switch that has had no problems, they might have been repaired with faulty switches left in the parts bins at dealerships and auto shops," GM spokesman Jim Cain told the Los Angeles Times.

The Fix: Owners who may have had a suspect part installed will be notified by GM the week of April 21 via a letter, and dealers will replace the ignition switch for free as parts become available; dealers, distributors and other parts customers will be notified March 31. Customers who paid to have their ignition switches replaced will be eligible for reimbursement. To help prevent an inadvertent shift in the switch, GM has asked owners to use only a key without a keychain while driving the vehicles.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and Saturn at 800-553-6000, or go to www.gmignitionupdate.com, for more info.

More GM Ignition Recall News

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (4)

GM Names Safety Chief Amid Ignition-Switch Recall Debacle

JeffBoyer

GM has named a new safety chief to oversee safety development of all vehicle systems, including confirmation and validation of safety performance and post-sale safety activities — particularly recalls. CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday announced that GM veteran Jeff Boyer would take the role, effective immediately. The announcement comes after an intense week for the Detroit automaker as it scrambles to manage a massive recall — and the related scrutiny both public and internal — of vehicles in which faulty ignition switches have been implicated, directly or indirectly, in hundreds of deaths.

More GM Ignition Recall News

Boyer, 58, has spent nearly 40 years in a wide range of engineering and safety positions at GM. He will have global responsibility with full support from the automaker, according to a GM statement.

"This new role elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader so we can set a new standard for customer safety with more rigorous accountability," Barra said in a statement. "If there are any obstacles in his way, Jeff has the authority to clear them. If he needs any additional resources, he will get them."

By Matt Schmitz | March 19, 2014 | Comments (4)

Auto Safety Group: Airbag Failures in Two GM Ignition-Switch Recall Vehicles Have Killed 303

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Thursday evening, The New York Times broke the latest news on GM's ignition-switch recall. After reviewing federal crash data, the Center for Auto Safety, a private watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., claims 303 people have died when airbags failed to deploy in the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2003-2007 Saturn Ion. Those are two of the six vehicles GM recalled recently due to faulty ignition switches.

More on GM's Ignition-Switch Recall

However, it's unclear whether the airbags in those incidents did not deploy specifically because the ignition switch was jarred out of its "on" position. That's the reason GM recalled 1.62 million cars worldwide and 1.37 million in the U.S., including the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion and 2007 Sky, the 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2005-2007 G5, and the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2006-2007 HHR.

By Kelsey Mays | March 13, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2003-2007 Saturn Ion; 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky

2007ChevroletHHRRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 588,000 2003-07 Saturn Ion compact cars, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR SUVs, and 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars.

The Problem: An issue with the ignition switch could allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the Accessory or Off position, shutting down the engine and most of the vehicle's electrical components, increasing the risk of a crash. Five crashes, resulting in six deaths, already had been attributed to the problem, for which GM earlier this month recalled 619,122 model-year 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars. This expansion, GM says, raises the number of reported incidents involving frontal crashes in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the non-deployment of frontal airbags to 31, with 12 front-seat fatalities. The automaker says the total affected number of U.S. vehicles is now 1,367,146.

By Matt Schmitz | February 25, 2014 | Comments (93)

Lawsuit Claims GM Knew About Deadly Cobalt Problems 10 Years Ago

2005ChevroletCobalt

On Feb. 13, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 619,122 model-year 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars due to a problem that had already been cited as a factor in five crashes resulting in six fatalities. Now, USA Today is reporting that GM knew a full decade earlier about the ignition-switch defect that could cause the cars' engines to shut off while driving and cut off power steering, brakes and safety systems such as airbags.

Chevrolet Cobalt Has Long Recall History

At least one GM engineer experienced the problem while testing the new car, which went on sale in 2004 as a 2005 model, according to documents from the lawsuit over a crash that killed a 29-year-old woman outside Atlanta in 2010. Pediatric nurse Brooke Melton was driving a Cobalt she had bought new in 2005. She had taken the car to a dealer for ignition-switch problems and had just picked it up the day before her crash.

By Matt Schmitz | February 19, 2014 | Comments (7)

Chevrolet Cobalt Has Long Recall History

2005ChevyCobaltRecall

GM's ignition switch recall this morning brought the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 to the headlines once more — more than 3½ years after the last Cobalt rolled off GM's Ohio assembly line. Sold in the U.S. for six years, the Cobalt and its G5 twin have had their share of turbulence. We tallied up the recalls so far:

Recall Alert: 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5

It began in November 2004 with a small recall on the new-for-2005 Cobalt due to a headlight shield that could loosen and cause additional glare for oncoming traffic. It affected just 1,378 vehicles.

By Kelsey Mays | February 13, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5

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Vehicles Affected: General Motors is recalling 619,122 model-year 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars

The Problem: The ignition switch where the key is inserted can become loose due to jarring effects from driving off-road or from a key ring carrying too much wait. This can lead to the switch moving out of the Run position, turning off the engine and most of the electrical components. In a crash, this could result in the airbags not deploying. There have been five crashes involving the defect where the airbags did not deploy, resulting in six fatalities. These incidents occurred off-road at high speeds. GM reports an additional 17 crashes where airbags did not deploy with non-fatal injuries.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the ignition switch, which should prevent unintentional key movement.

What Owners Should Do: General Motors is advising customers to remove “non-essential” items from their key rings but not to stop driving the cars. Owners can call GM at 800-521-7300, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By David Thomas | February 13, 2014 | Comments (15)

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