GM in Hot Water over Ignition Woes

2005-chevrolet-cobalt-front

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt

It’s a tough time to be General Motors.  The recently free-from-government-debt automaker is under the proverbial microscope after 31 accidents in its vehicles killed 13 people.  The problem?  Faulty ignition lock cylinders, which lead to a loss of control of the car.  Continue reading for details, a list of affected vehicles, and the NHTSA’s press release on the recall.

In several of GM’s cars, the ignition can slip from “Run” to “Acc” or even “Off”, which leaves the airbags and ABS brakes inoperable, increasing the likelihood of an accident.  So, what could cause the ignition cylinder to rotate?  Usually it takes a firm twist of the driver’s wrist, but in this case, the weight of just the key ring, when mixed with road conditions, can cause the rotation.

2007 Pontiac Solstice. X07PN_ST026

2007 Pontiac Solstice

This, in turn, shuts off the engine, which is what is used to power brakes, steering, and can also affect the aforementioned airbags.  The original recall started February 10th with the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 sister cars, but was later amended to include the Chevrolet HHR and Pontiac Solstice, as well as the Ion and Sky, both Saturn vehicles.

The original February 10th recall, which included around 500,000 vehicles, has been amended to include almost 800,000 more vehicles, for a grand total of over 1.3-million vehicles.  Now the NHTSA is calling into question when exactly GM knew about the issue, according to the NHTSA’s timing of events related to this issue.  According to GM, its tracking process wasn’t as robust then as it is now, which allowed this defect to fall through the cracks.

While waiting for your official recall notice, it is recommended that you remove your car’s key from its key ring and carry everything else – even the ring – separate.  This should prevent the ignition cylinder from inadvertently rotating.

Affected Vehicles:

Make Model Year(s)
Chevrolet Cobalt 2005, 2006, 2007
Chevrolet HHR 2006, 2007
Pontiac G5 2007
Pontiac Solstice 2006, 2007
Saturn Ion 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Saturn Sky 2007

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