General Motors Faulty Ignition Switch Recall ReviewedSep 8, 2016
Major public scrutiny has been aimed at General Motors (GM) in past years due to numerous defects that led to at least 2 recalls. One of those recalls involved the defective ignition switch which causes the engine to switch off without warning even during typical driving situations.
This ignition switch recall led to several federal investigations, as well as negative media attention. GM initially recalled approximately 1.6 million vehicles between February 25, 2014 and April 09 2014 for the ignition switch defect. This defect has allegedly been tied to 120 deaths.
A revisited estimation recalled vehicles raised the recall number to 1.96 million in the United States and 2.36 million worldwide. GM had issued this recall after receiving numerous complaints of engines cutting out while customers were actually driving.
At times, weight from key chains can actually shift the key to the off position in the ignition switch. This may cause the cars' airbags and other safety features to fail if the car shuts off suddenly while in motion.
Issues linked to GM ignition switch defect are: airbags not deploying during frontal collision, sudden loss of ability to steer the car, engine suddenly shutting off while driving, power brakes suddenly not working while driving. When the ignitions suddenly turns off, the safety features power is cut off causing features to fail without warning. The defective switches have been explained as a result of defective parts, namely, the low torque in the switch.
The vehicles affected by the GM ignition switch defect include: 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky.
GM had allegedly known about the ignition switch problem since 2001 but had not opted to resolve the issue until recently. It has been claimed that GM could have resolved the ignition switch defect for as little as 57 cents. GM was eventually fined $35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).