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General Motors Ignition Switch Defect: Air Bags Not Going Off Because of Keychain?

2 comments

The middle of February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the following statement:

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls. The GM recall covers the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles. NHTSA urges owners and drivers to follow GM’s recommendation to “use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring” when operating the vehicle and seek the permanent repair remedy from GM as soon as replacement parts become available. NHTSA will monitor consumer outreach as the recall process continues and take additional appropriate action as warranted.”

The GM recall now covers 1.37 million vehicles in the U.S., plus an additional 253,519 in Canada and Mexico.

How big a deal is this? It was big enough for GM to notify 1.37 million owners of  2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles. They are being told to bring their vehicles to dealers.  They are also being told use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring. Bumpy roads can cause the ignition to switch off mid-driving, potentially also deactivating the airbags.

There have been 31 crashes and 13 deaths now linked to the recall. Eight of the deaths were in crashes involving the Cobalt or nearly identical Pontiac G5, five in crashes involving the Ion.

As the announcement says there are also questions about how soon GM knew and what they have done about this issue.

Next time you see an advertisement for one of these vehicles ask yourself what happens when the air bag don’t go off.  I wouldn’t want to find out.

see also: NY Times Documents GM’s Recalls, Inaction, and Trail of Fatal Crashes , Brett Emison |

If you or a family member is injured by a product, you need to get immediate medical care. If there is a significant affect or injury, you should contact an attorney concerning the problem. Early investigation can include the collection of product, checking recall alerts, and the proper notifying of those who caused the problem.

2 Comments

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  1. Judith Woodard says:
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    Can you tell me how I can get my 2007 HHR repaired before I have an issue with the ignition. I understand the recall and would like to have it fixed ASAP.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Bring it into the dealer