WASHINGTON — Nearly 900,000 General Motors vehicles with potentially defective ignition switches are still on the road, according to a new document filed by the automaker on January 23, 2015 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The document said that out of a recall population of 2,190,934 vehicles, a total of 1,229,529 vehicles have been fixed by dealers. The total "unreachable" number of vehicles is 80,122, according to GM.
In comparison, GM had fixed 865,477 of those 2,190,934 vehicles as of October 20, 2014. At that time, the total "unreachable" number of vehicles was pegged at 107,205.
The defective ignition switch can affect the safe operation of the airbag systems, according to NHTSA. The recalled GM vehicles include:
At least 49 people have died and 72 have been injured in crashes linked to faulty GM ignition switches as of January 16, 2015, according to the GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility. The facility will stop accepting claims as of January 31.
Last month, GM told NHTSA that enough parts are available to fix all the faulty ignition switches that are covered by its recall. Federal safety regulators are urging owners of unrepaired GM vehicles to immediately contact their local dealer to arrange a service appointment.
GM reports that many dealers will help owners get their vehicles remedied after work and on the weekends.
GM's ignition switch recall update coincides with the release of a new Carfax study that says 46 million cars in the U.S. have an unfixed recall. Five million of them were bought and sold by "potentially unsuspecting consumers in 2014," the study said.
Carfax describes the findings as an "ongoing threat to public safety."
"New research from Carfax suggests that millions of people may be driving, buying or selling potentially dangerous cars due to an unfixed recall," it said.
It noted that "family-oriented vehicles" are most at risk. One in three minivans and one in five SUVs has an unfixed recall.
Edmunds says: If you own one of the aforementioned GM vehicles, it's urgent that you schedule a service appointment with your dealer immediately.