- General Motors on Friday said it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the U.S.
- The expanded recall adds 824,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2008-'11 and brings the total number of cars involved in the recall in the U.S. to 2,190,934.
- GM also confirmed an additional fatality associated with the defective part, bringing the total number of fatalities to 13.
WASHINGTON — General Motors on Friday said it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the U.S. since defective ignition switches may have been used to fix the vehicles.
The expanded recall adds 824,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2008-'11 and brings the total number of cars involved in the recall in the U.S. to 2,190,934, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
GM also confirmed an additional fatality associated with the defective part, bringing the total number of fatalities to 13.
On March 27, GM notified NHTSA that the defective ignition switches may have been used as service replacement parts on other vehicles. As a result, the automaker is adding these vehicles to the recall: 2008-'10 Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Sky and Pontiac G5 and Solstice and 2008-'11 Chevrolet HHR.
The expanded recall now includes six models: 2005-'10 Cobalts; 2006-'10 Pontiac Solstices, 2007-'10 Pontiac G5s and Saturn Skys; 2006-'11 Chevrolet HHRs and 2003-'07 Saturn Ions.
"Because it is not feasible to track down all the parts, the company is taking the extraordinary step of recalling 824,000 more vehicles in the U.S. to ensure that every car has a current ignition switch," GM said in a statement. "GM is unaware of any reports of fatalities with this group of vehicles where a frontal impact occurred, the front airbags did not deploy and the ignition is in the 'accessory' or 'off' position."
As with the earlier recalls, the ignition switch may unintentionally move from the "run" position to the "accessory" or "off" position, leading to a loss of power. The risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or if the vehicle goes off road or experiences some jarring event. Consumers are advised to remove all items, including the key fob, from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key, until the repair can be made.
GM's handling of the recall has prompted governmental investigations, including a congressional inquiry set to begin on Tuesday. GM CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to testify.
GM has begun an internal review to get what it calls "an unvarnished understanding of the circumstances leading up to the recall."
"We are deeply sorry for the loss suffered by our customers and we will work to regain their trust," it said in a statement on Friday.
An interim notification of the recall was issued to owners of 2007 and earlier models on March 10, informing them of the safety defect. Owners of 2008 and later vehicles will be mailed an interim letter on April 21. All affected owners will receive another letter once parts are available.
Owners can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac at 1-800-762-2727 or Saturn at 1-800-553-6000.
Edmunds says: If you own one of the affected GM small cars, get in touch with your dealer to make arrangements for a repair or to get a loaner car if parts are not available at this point.