"We're trying to motivate folks to get repairs completed," said GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney in a phone conversation with Edmunds.
Carney said that in some cases, the offer will be honored until January 1.
"At some dealerships, due to a backlog, there may be cases where owners can't get on the schedule," she said. "We're urging people to come in by December 1, but if there's a situation where they can't, the offer is good until January 1."
Owners who are eligible for the program will receive a direct-mail notification in the coming days. GM is sending out 705,000 offers to consumers who have not gotten their recalled car fixed. Once the repair is made, the participant will be sent a special code that enables them to go online and choose their gift card.
GM will mail the gift card. Carney noted that the cards will not be given away at dealerships and they are not for people who have already repaired their car.
About 50 percent of recalled Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ion and other small cards have been fixed, according to the automaker. The ignition switch can slip out of the "run" position and cut power to the steering, brakes and airbags. The defect has been linked to 30 deaths.
"There are ample parts available," Carney said. "We are urging people to get this scheduled at their dealership. It may take a little bit to get in, but make the appointment."
Edmunds says: This unusual outreach program should be plenty of incentive for owners of these cars to hustle over to their local dealer.