GM Expands Recall to Over 1 Million Vehicles
In a recent report, General Motors has expanded a recall regarding compact cars. A problem with the ignition in the vehicles has been responsible for up to thirteen deaths.
According to GM, over one million vehicles are affected by the recall. The recall affects models made between the years of 2003 and 2007.
Previously, 778,000 Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalts were recalled. The recall was expanded to include four other models that had the same fault with the ignition.
Before the recall was expanded, GM initially attributed six deaths to the flaw. At least 31 collisions were also attributed.
GM North America President Alan Batey made an apologetic statement regarding the issue, insisting that they take their customer's safety very seriously. According to Batey, they are working to fix the problem as fast as they can.
In 2004, an engineer with GM experienced the issue during a test-drive of one of the affected vehicles. The engineers came to the conclusion that the ignition switch was faulty later on in 2005.
Current laws dictate that automobile manufacturers are supposed to report safety related defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within five days of their discovery. A fine of up to $35 million can be imposed on manufacturers who violate the law. In the past both Ford and Toyota both been forced to pay a significant amount for not disclosing defects in a timely manner.
GM claims that their engineers has no reason to believe the defect was related to safety as both the brakes and steering of the vehicles would still work properly even if the engine was powered off. Another mitigating factor is that the cars could be turned back on once they were parked.
GM has begun to notify the vehicle registrants about the recall. At no cost, GM will replace the faulty ignition switch with a fixed and safer version.
The defect, according to GM, is a result of heavy weights hanging from the keychain when the key is in the ignition. The weight from the objects can cause the key to accidentally turn at improper times. GM has advised car owners to avoid having any unnecessary weight on the keychain until their car has been repaired.