GM Expands Ignition Switch Recall, Citing 13 Deaths

"Ensuring our customers' safety is our first order of business," said GM North America President Alan Batey. "We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can."

General Motors announced Feb. 25 it has expanded its recall of certain 2003-2007 model year vehicles, with the recalled number of vehicles now 1,367,146 in the United States, to fix a problem with the ignition switch that may allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the "accessory" or "off" position, which turns off the engine and most of the vehicle's electrical components. It keeps frontal airbags from deploying properly.

The automaker said the problem may have caused or contributed to non-deployment in 31 crashes involving 13 front-seat fatalities.

2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit models sold only in Canada were already recalled, and now GM is also recalling 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models.  

GM announced it will notify all affected customers, perform repairs at no charge to them, and along with its dealers will work with customers on a case-by-case basis to minimize inconvenience associated with this recall.

"Ensuring our customers' safety is our first order of business," said GM North America President Alan Batey. "We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can."

The company's announcement says GM is recalling these vehicles because the ignition switch torque performance may not meet its specifications. "If the torque performance is not to specification, and the key ring is carrying added weight or the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other jarring event, the ignition switch may inadvertently be moved out of the 'run' position."

GM on Feb. 24 submitted a chronology of its initial recall to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been," Batey said. "Today's GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward."

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