- General Motors has put together a massive loaner fleet with the help of rental-car companies to provide customers with cars during the ignition-switch recall.
- Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and other rental companies are set to provide thousands of vehicles to owners of nearly 1.4 million recalled Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars in the U.S.
- If no GM loaner cars are available, GM will put customers into loaner vehicles that could include Ford, Chrysler, Honda and other non-GM vehicles.
DETROIT — General Motors has put together a massive loaner fleet with the help of rental-car companies to provide customers with cars during the ignition-switch recall.
If no GM loaner cars are available, GM will put customers into loaner vehicles that could include Ford, Chrysler, Honda and other non-GM vehicles. The move is a major policy shift for GM, which typically puts customers only into GM loaner vehicles.
"The preference is always to put people into a newer GM product," said James Cain, a GM spokesman, in a phone conversation with Edmunds on Friday. "But, if none are available, we've waived our policy and we will put people in a competitive vehicle. Most, if not all, will get a chance to drive a new GM product."
If the consumer is underinsured, GM will "compensate for that within the rental contract," Cain added.
The rental cars are free to affected customers. The recall involves the 2005-'07 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2006-?07 Chevrolet HHR and Pontiac Solstice, 2003-?07 Saturn Ion and 2007 Saturn Sky.
"We are working with rental companies to make sure there will be a good supply," Cain said.
He said all GM dealers are expected to participate in the rental program.
As of Friday, only a "couple thousand" customers had requested loaner vehicles, Cain said. Many consumers "are satisfied to drive their vehicles taking the advice we gave," he added. That advice is to remove all other keys and accessories from the key ring when driving the car.
The recall starts on April 7. GM expects to have approximately 60,000 parts available on that date. Supplier Delphi has added a second production line to speed up parts delivery. GM says about 70,000 parts per week should be flowing to dealers once production is fully up to speed.
However, the recall could stretch into the fall due to the large number of vehicles involved.
Edmunds says: If customers run into a problem getting a loaner vehicle in this recall, Cain said they should call 1-800-222-1020 for assistance.