New House Report Blasts NHTSA

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On the heels of yesterday's New York Times investigation, a report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee blasted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an alleged series of critical mistakes leading up to GM's recall of some 2.2 million small cars in the U.S. over faulty ignitions.

Related: GM Ignition-Switch Recall: What Owners Need To Know

The 44-page report claims NHTSA had information to identify the defects, which have been linked to more than a dozen deaths, as early as 2007. The report also concludes that the agency failed to link three investigations on crashes involving airbags that didn't deploy in the Chevrolet Cobalt and didn't understand "vehicle systems and functions implemented in response to the agency's own standards," including the link between airbags and vehicle power.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman defended the agency to The Detroit News on Monday, saying he'd met with a dozen automakers to facilitate further discussions on how vehicle systems interact. NHTSA's actions have also prompted some 1,300 recalls over the past decade.

Click here to read more on the report from The Detroit News.

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By Kelsey Mays | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2002-2004 Saturn Vue

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Vehicles Affected: 202,115 Saturn Vue SUVs from the 2002 to 2004 model years in the U.S., with around 13,000 more outside the country.

The Problem: Two potential issues exist. The first is that if you stop the vehicle and put the automatic transmission in Park, you could have a hard time getting the key out. "The ignition cylinder can bind, and the key can get stuck in there," GM spokesman Alan Adler told us. The second possibility is an opposite problem: The key may be removable when the car is stopped but not in Park. Although this is an ignition-related issue, Adler said that there is no danger of what GM has termed "unintended key rotation" — i.e., the key getting bumped out of the Run position while the car is moving, which is responsible for more than 10 million GM recalls this year. "It's not an ignition switch" problem, Adler maintained. "That is not the issue here." That said, GM said in a press release that it's aware of two crashes and one injury "potentially related" to the Vue's issue.

The Fix: GM dealers will inspect the key for either problem. If it exists, dealers will replace the ignition cylinder and keys for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Saturn customer assistance at 800-553-6000. Adler says he doesn't have a timeline yet on how long it will take for replacement parts to show up, but GM recommends that owners ensure their vehicles are in Park before exiting; stick-shift SUVs (yes, Saturn did sell a few) should be put into Reverse and the parking brake should be set.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

By Kelsey Mays | August 8, 2014 | Comments (3)

Report: GM Can't Find 6.4 Percent of Ignition-Recalled Cars

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Of the 2.2 million small cars in the U.S. that GM recalled for faulty ignition switches, the automaker can't find nearly 140,000 owners. A July 25 regulatory filing to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 139,592 recall notices for the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and other compacts couldn't be delivered, according to The Detroit News. That amounts to 6.4 percent of the cars, which GM recalled in a series of campaigns between Feb. 25 and April 9.

GM Ignition-Switch Recall: What Owners Need to Know

"Six percent is not really high at all, in terms of unreachable [owners]," GM spokesman Alan Adler told us. "We couldn't find owners for them at the end of the quarter. I'm sure the number's much lower now. That's all June 30 numbers."

The information comes as the automaker has reached out to owners of the cars, which range from the 2003 to the 2011 model years, through mailed notices, social media, English and Spanish versions of a recall website, gmignitionupdate.com, and full-page newspaper ads, The Detroit News reports.

By Kelsey Mays | August 8, 2014 | Comments (2)

Report: GM Cars in Ignition-Cylinder Recall Selling for Less

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A new report by iSeeCars.com says cars involved in the most serious of GM's ignition-related recalls have lower prices on the used-car market. The Woburn, Mass.-based automotive site, and Cars.com partner, analyzed more than 11 million cars for sale and found the listed price of recalled cars has dropped more than double the rate of non-luxury used cars in general.

More on GM's Ignition Recalls

The website looked at listed prices for the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Saturn Sky and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice. All six models were among the 2.2 million cars recalled in the U.S. between Feb. 25 and April 9 for faulty ignition switches and then, ultimately, faulty ignition cylinders.

By Kelsey Mays | July 25, 2014 | Comments (3)

GM Issues Stop-Sale Order on Cadillac SRX, CTS

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GM has asked dealers to stop selling several used Cadillac models that have a standard key ignition. The stop-sale order, which Bloomberg News reported on July 19, involves the 2004-06 Cadillac SRX SUV; 2003-13 Cadillac CTS sedan, coupe and wagon; and the 2014 CTS coupe and wagon — both from the previous generation, not the redesigned 2014 CTS sedan. All cars affected by the stop-sale order have conventional remote keyless entry; any cars with optional keyless access and push-button start are exempt.

More Details on GM's Latest — and Largest — Ignition-Related Recall

The sales stoppage includes Cadillac models involved in a June 30 expansion of GM's ignition-related recalls, which totaled 7.6 million Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac models. The Cadillac CTS and SRX, whose key can inadvertently rotate out of the Run position if the driver's knee bumps it, requires a replacement key. A similar situation prompted GM to recall nearly 465,000 model-year 2010-14 Chevrolet Camaro sports cars on June 13.

By Kelsey Mays | July 21, 2014 | Comments (5)

More Details on GM's Latest -- and Largest -- Ignition-Related Recall

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Today's GM recall encompassed 7.55 million cars in the U.S. and another 893,547 cars outside the country. About 97 percent stem from inadvertent rotation of the ignition key across a slew of 1997-2014 models, which sounds similar to the ignition-switch defects that spurred the recall of 2.19 million small cars between February and April.
 
Recall Alert: 6.8 Million Additional GM Vehicles for Ignition Key Fix

It's not, GM claims. The problem — and GM's solution — is closer to the automaker's more recent ignition-related recalls: 464,712 Chevrolet Camaros in the U.S. on June 13 and 3.16 million larger cars in the U.S. on June 16. Confused? That's because GM's ignition-related recalls, which are now responsible for more than half the automaker's 2014 U.S. recall total, are three separate, albeit related, categories:

GM says this latest recall stems from the second and third problems.

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Cadillac CTS, 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 554,000 model-year 2004-06 Cadillac SRX crossovers and model-year 2013 CTS sedans, coupes and wagons as well as model-year 2014 CTS coupes and wagons; the redesigned 2014 CTS sedan isn't affected.

The Problem: GM is reporting that the driver's knee could bump the key fob, causing the key to move out of the Run position. This could lead to a reduction or loss of power. This is an expansion of a previous recall.

The Fix: GM is changing the key's design; the change will make the ignition key and fob independent of each other. 

What Owners Should Do: The automaker has not yet provided an owner notification schedule; owners can call Cadillac at 800-333-4223 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

Editor's note: This post was updated on July 2 to include CTS body style information.

By Jennifer Geiger | June 30, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 6.8 Million Additional GM Vehicles for Ignition Key Fix

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 6.8 million model-year 1997-2014 vehicles, including 1997-05 Chevrolet Malibu and 2000-05 Impala and Monte Carlo sedans; 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1999-2004 Alero sedans; 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am and 2004-08 Grand Prix cars

The Problem: This is another expansion of one of three ignition recalls; this one related to a faulty key ring hole. Jarring effects from the road or a key ring carrying too much weight could cause the ignition switch to move 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.

GM said it is aware of seven crashes with eight injuries and three fatalities. "The fatal crashes occurred in older model full-size sedans being recalled for inadvertent ignition key rotation. There is no conclusive evidence that the defect condition caused those crashes," the automaker said in a statement.

The Fix: GM said it will rework the key, adding an insert to it so that large items cannot be attached to the key.

What Owners Should Do: GM has not released an owner notification schedule but has said that until the repairs have been made, customers must remove all items from their key ring. Customers with questions can call Chevrolet at 800-630-2438, Oldsmobile at 800-630-6537 and Pontiac at 800-762-2737.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | June 30, 2014 | Comments (4)

GM Recalls 7.6 Million More Vehicles

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In the largest single day of announcements since its 2014 recall crisis began, GM announced a recall of approximately 7.6 million vehicles in the U.S. today, the majority for inadvertent rotation of the ignition key. The recalled models span the 1997 to 2014 model years; most of the cars that exhibit the unintended key rotation are late-'90s and early-2000s midsize and large sedans from Chevrolet and GM's now-discontinued Oldsmobile and Pontiac brands; also in the ignition group are newer Cadillac CTS and SRX models. In total, about 97 percent of today's recalls are ignition-related.

See the list below. We'll update you as we learn more.

By Kelsey Mays | June 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

GM: No Cap on Compensation for Ignition-Switch Defect Victims

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The administrator of GM's compensation fund for victims of its massive ignition-switch-defect debacle vowed that the automaker will pay "whatever it takes" to resolve all related claims, the Detroit News reported today. That includes placing no overall cap on the fund, which could be open to thousands of victims and their families affected by crashes in which airbags failed to deploy in nearly 2.6 million vehicles. Backseat passengers, as well as pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes, could be eligible for payments, which will be at least $1 million for all deaths and $300,000 for surviving spouses and children, the newspaper reported. The offer extends to all crashes involving unrepaired recalled vehicles through Dec. 31 of this year, which means some incidents covered by the fund may not even have occurred yet.

Get the full story from the Detroit News, here.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 30, 2014 | Comments (2)

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