GM's Ignition Recall Grows As Date With Congress Nears

Mar 28 2014, 6:28pm CDT | by

GM's Ignition Recall Grows As Date With Congress Nears
Photo Credit: Forbes Auto

General Motors' recall for possibly faulty ignition switches has grown to nearly 2.6 million vehicles worldwide. And, it has disclosed that its dealers used potentially defective switches to fix cars that the company recalled.

GM expanded the recall by another 971,000 vehicles late Friday, on top of the 1.6 million Chevrolet, Saturn, Pontiac and other models that it recalled because of the defect. That includes all 2003 to 2011 cars in the vehicle family containing the ignition switches. Of those vehicles, 2.2 million were sold in the United States.

The faulty switches have been linked to the deaths of 12 people in the vehicles. If the ignition were to fail, and shut off the car, power steering would go out, meaning drivers could lose control of their cars. An electrical outage also mean the airbags do not deploy, increasing the chances of injury.

The news comes as GM Chief Executive Mary Barra prepares to testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday. GM has made its CEO the public face of its response to the recall crisis. Her appearance will be the most high profile testimony by a car company chief executive since Akio Toyoda appeared before a House committee in 2010.

In its latest announcement, GM said it is “not feasible” for the company to track down the faulty replacement parts, which is why it has decided to replace them. GM said it believes about 95,000 replacement switches were distributed to dealers and parts wholesalers. Of those, about 90,000 switches were used to fix vehicles before a recall was announced in February.

“We are taking no chances with safety,” Barra said in the statement. “Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn’t practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years.”

GM said verified replacement parts should become available April 7 for cars built between 2003 and 2007. It expects to notify owners of cars built between 2008 and 2001 during the week of April 21. GM has said that it would provide loaner cars to the owners of vehicles with defective ignitions.

One of the reasons it is “not feasible” for GM to track down those switches may have come to light in an Automotive News story earlier this week. According to the publication, GM changed the design of the faulty switch in 2006. But it did not create a new part number for the switch, which engineers say is a “cardinal sin.”

The situation was not discovered until last year, when an independent investigator figured out why some switches were fine, and others were failing. Because it has only one part number to go by, GM would face sorting through a sea of ignition parts, unable to tell by the designation alone which were modified and which had the original design.

Meanwhile, it now faces the headache of redoing the repairs that were done with faulty switches.

Automotive News also reported that 11 of the 12 deaths involving the cars occurred after the ignition switch was redesigned in 2006, although the deaths involved cars built before 2006. Had the company chosen to recall the cars sooner, the publication said a majority of the fatal crashes could have been avoided.

Said Barra, “We are going to provide our customers with the peace of mind they deserve and expect by getting the new switches into all the vehicles.”

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Rihanna approached for Bond movie?
Los Angeles, Sep 29 (IANS) Singer Rihanna has reportedly been approached for a cameo in the upcoming Bond film. The "We found love" hitmaker is said to be excited to appear in the spy thriller, reports contactmusic....
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard calls on Modi
New York, Sep 29 (IANS) Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American in the US Congress, called on visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday and presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawaii....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
143 killed in clashes against IS in Iraq
Baghdad, Sep 29 (IANS) A total of 143 people were killed Sunday in the ongoing clashes between the Iraqi security forces and militants, including of the the Islamic State (IS), security sources said. In Anbar province...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Quake in Peru kills eight
Lima, Sep 29 (IANS) At least eight people were killed and six injured following a 5.1-magnitude earthquake which jolted southern parts of Peru, authorities said Sunday. The temblor hit Paruro province in the Andean...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Bieber swaps 'bad influence' for cookbooks
Los Angeles, Sep 29 (IANS) Singer Justin Bieber has reportedly taken the decision to give up alcohol and "bad influence" friends. According to sources, the wild-child "Baby" hitmaker, now 20, has grown up and swapped...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Will build India of your dreams, join in our effort: Modi to Indians abroad (Intro Roundup)
New York, Sep 29 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi connected with thousands of rapturously cheering Indian diaspora at Madison Square Garden here Sunday, promising them he would deliver on the electoral...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
David McIntosh hits back at Kelly Brook
David McIntosh insists there a ''two sides'' to his split from Kelly Brook. The former 'Gladiator' - who split from the brunette beauty, 34, earlier this week amid claims he had remained close to his ex-girlfriend...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Modi invites diaspora to 'Make in India', help clean Ganga
New York, Sep 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday invited Indians abroad to join the "Make in India" initiative, saying the country aimed to show its strength by exploiting technology to the maximum extent...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Indians have woven magic with the mouse: Modi at Madison Square
New York, Sep 28 (IANS) India was once known as a world of snake charmers, now the magic that its people have woven "with the mouse" in the IT sphere is world-renowned, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Sunday. "...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Modi announces lifelong visas for Indian diaspora
New York, Sep 29 (IANS) Amid cheers from thousands of Indian-Americans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday announced several measures to ease travel to their motherland including life-long visas. "Happy?" he asked...
Read more on Politics Balla