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

2005-chevrolet-cobalt

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 (94)

Which New SUV Is Comparable to the Saturn Vue?

"Which new SUV is comparable to the Saturn Vue? I am driving my fourth Saturn Vue and have been really frustrated at the thought of replacing it. I already looked at the Equinox but passed because it is not comparable — it's bigger and pricier. Then I saw the Chevrolet Captiva! Problem solved — or so I thought (fleet only). If I can't buy a Captiva, I will go to another brand. I buy new, so a used Captiva is not an option in my mind."

Sue

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Most-Read Stories of the Year

Captiva

Out of thousands of Kicking Tires posts in 2012, a little novelty news item about the return of Chevrolet's Captiva Sport enjoyed something of a captive audience. The post, about the short-lived Saturn Vue crossover reappearing as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva, finished the year with nearly 15% more reads than its nearest competitor.

Perhaps it was the sheer oddity of the thing, as the Captiva isn't sold at dealerships, but instead was brought back by General Motors for rental-fleet duty.

Further down the list are our top 10 cars we recommended for surviving the Mayan apocalypse aftermath, which if you're reading this now is, mercifully, irrelevant. Check out the rest of the list below:

1. The Saturn Vue Is Back as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport
2. Honda Confirms 2013 Civic Updates, Mum on Specifics
3. 2013 Mazda3: What's Changed
4. 2013 Hyundai Elantra Sedan: What's Changed
5. Top 10 Cars for the 2012 Apocalypse
6. 2013 Honda Accord Sedan Shrinks, Gets Plug-in Hybrid Model
7. 2013 Subaru Forester: What's Changed
8. 2013 Honda Odyssey: What's Changed
9. 2013 Honda Pilot: What's Changed
10. Recall Alert: 2005-10 Honda Accord, 2007-10 Honda CR-V, 2005-08 Honda Element

By Matt Schmitz | December 31, 2012 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: Certain 2007-2009 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn Vehicles

2007-chevrolet-cobalt
GM is recalling 40,859 model-year 2007-09 versions of several Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles due to problems with the fuel pump, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were originally sold or are currently registered in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma or Texas and include the following: 2007-09 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Chevrolet Equinox, 2007-09 Pontiac G5, 2007 Pontiac Torrent and 2007 Saturn Ion.

In these vehicles, a plastic part in the fuel pump could crack, causing a leak. This could lead to an increased risk of a crash.

GM has not yet provided an owner notification schedule, but dealers will replace the affected parts free of charge. Owners can call GM at 800-521-7300 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

Related
More General Motors News on Cars.com
More Safety News on Cars.com
Check out Other Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | October 1, 2012 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2008-2010 Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6, 2007-2010 Saturn Aura

2008-chevrolet-malibu
GM is recalling 426,240 model-year 2008-10 Chevrolet Malibus and Pontiac G6s, along with model-year 2007-10 Saturn Aura sedans due to problems with the automatic transmission, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles are equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission with a faulty shift cable. The tabs on the cable may fracture, so the shift lever and the position of the transmission may not match. This could cause the car to roll away if the driver thinks it’s in Park and it isn’t, increasing the risk of a crash.

GM has not provided an owner notification schedule, but dealers will replace the affected parts free of charge. Owners can call GM at 800-521-7300 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

Related
More GM News on Cars.com 
More Safety News on Cars.com
Check out Other Recalls 

By Jennifer Geiger | September 21, 2012 | Comments (21)

Saturn Aura, BMW 335i See Biggest Used Price Drops on Cars.com

Saturn Aura, BMW 335
Late-model used-car prices on Cars.com have eased a little recently, dropping slightly from June 1 to July 1, but a number of used cars saw big decreases in asking price.

The Saturn Aura midsize sedan saw the biggest percentage decrease, declining 12%, or $1,764, to $13,197. The BMW 335i compact luxury car had the next greatest drop with an 8% decline, resulting in a $3,446 decrease in the average asking price to $39,969. BMW recently redesigned the 3 Series sedan for the 2012 model year.

From June 1 to July 1, used-car prices for 2009 to 2011 models slid a modest $31 to an average $22,350. Though lower than last month, this average is still $554 greater than it was at the beginning of the year for used cars from these model years.

The charts below details the top 10 used cars from the 2009 to 2011 model years with the biggest price drops — as well as the 10 with the biggest increases. To be eligible for the list, a model had to have 500 cars in Cars.com's national inventory to give potential shoppers a chance at finding one nearby.

By Mike Hanley | July 30, 2012 | Comments (0)

The Saturn Vue Is Back as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport

2012 Chevrolet Captiva SportThis is a strange development to say the least. The somewhat popular but short-lived second-generation Saturn Vue is coming back to the United States as the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva Sport.

You’ll see it on the streets, but you won’t be able to buy one new, and you’ll probably see it at used-car dealerships over time. That’s because the Captiva Sport is coming for the sole purpose of fulfilling fleet orders, according to General Motors.

The Captiva Sport will be available in LS, LT and LTZ trims. All models will include 17-inch aluminum wheels, air conditioning, power windows and locks, and electronic stability control. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Up-level trims will offer features like leather seats, a rearview camera and sunroof.

The Captiva Sport is powered by a 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder on the LS trim and a 264-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 on the LT and LTZ trims. All models use a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Captiva is sold around the world except in the U.S. With huge demand on the retail side for the Chevrolet Equinox, the Captiva Sport fleet option could take pressure off the popular crossover in the U.S.

As far as we know, this is the only vehicle you’ll see in rental fleets that you can’t buy at a dealership. The Captiva Sport will become available to fleet customers late this year. We had thought this model may be coming, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already tested the vehicle, giving the Captiva Sport a four-star rollover rating; frontal and side crash-test ratings aren’t yet available.

Should this car be available to regular car buyers, too? Tell us in the comments below.

By Colin Bird | March 11, 2011 | Comments (216)

Should GM Have Recalled the Saturn Ion Over Steering Issues?

2007 Saturn Ion

Last March, General Motors recalled 1.3 million 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007-10 Pontiac G5 vehicles over a faulty power-steering system. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether the Saturn Ion should have been a part of that recall.

In the affected vehicles, the electric power assist could fail, increasing the risk of a crash, according to NHTSA. The Ion wasn’t part of the recall, but after 638 complaints and 1,444 warranty claims of electric power-steering loss, the agency is rethinking a potential recall for all 384,000 2004-07 Ions.

General Motors rebukes the need for a recall. According to the automaker, a power-steering failure shouldn’t increase the risk of accident; the car should still be controllable despite the increased steering effort. GM also says the Ion failure rate has been much lower than that of the recalled Cobalts and G5s, and if the Ion experiences power-steering failure, the system will be repaired free-of-charge if the vehicle is under warranty. In April, the automaker made NHTSA aware of the Saturn Ion issue, which was one month after the Cobalt and G5 recall.

Eleven crashes and three injuries have been tied to the power-steering failures, according to NHTSA. The agency will continue to closely monitor the situation. According to the New York Times, the level of complaints and accidents may now warrant potential recall action.

Should G.M. Have Recalled Saturn Ions for Steering Failures? (New York Times)

By Colin Bird | December 28, 2010 | Comments (9)

GM Plays Matchmaker for Pontiac, Saturn Owners

GM Plays Matchmaker for Lost Pontiac, Saturn Owners

Saturn and Pontiac were officially dissolved at the end of October when GM terminated all franchise agreements with its dealerships for the brands. To keep Pontiac and Saturn owners in the GM universe, the automaker has set up websites that play matchmaker for them and their next car.

On each site, GM will match your current ride with a new vehicle. The catch is it will only match you with a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle, which leads to some interesting matches. For instance, selecting a Saturn Aura will match you to a Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Regal and Cadillac CTS. The Malibu and Regal are the closest to the Aura in terms of cost. If you have a Pontiac Montana, the website will suggest GM’s large to midsize crossovers such as the Chevy Traverse and GMC Terrain. GM currently has no minivan offerings.

By Colin Bird | November 24, 2010 | Comments (11)

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