Auto Manufacturer Knew of 13 Deaths, 31 Front-end Crashes Linked to the Switches
DETROIT, Michigan (April 11, 2014) – General Motors Corp. is under fire for allegedly delaying the recall of faulty ignition switches installed in 2.6 million cars that are linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and 31 front-end crashes, according to documents released today by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation.
Apparently GM knew as early as the early 2000s about the defective ignition switches that interfere with air bags deploying in certain models, but the auto manufacturer did not recall the vehicles until this past February. Additionally, GM had a list of victims in its internal documents and company emails that identified the deaths linked to the faulty ignition switches.
GM has since alerted drivers of the affected cars and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the issue and the vehicles are under recall, but GM’s new CEO Mary Barra is being questioned by Congress about why the company failed to alert drivers immediately when they knew of the defect.
“This is a tragedy for the families of these victims killed in these defective vehicles,” said Attorney James Johnson.
The problem stems from items attached to a driver’s key ring that can cause the key to move out of the “run” position and render the car’s air bag system to fail. This of course puts drivers and passengers of these vehicles at risk for serious injury or death.
Indeed, General Motors has notified NHTSA that drivers must only use their ignition key without a key ring, other keys or the key fob for their own safety.
GM has identified the following vehicles affected under the recall as:
- All 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
- 2005-2007 Pontiac G5
- 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
- 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR
- 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice
- 2007-2010 Saturn Sky
If you are the owner of one of these vehicles contact GM as soon as possible to complete repairs and call them at GM Customer Engagement Center at 1-800-222-1012 for more information.
For customer service on a specific GM model:
- Chevrolet: 1-800-222-1020 (TTY 1-800-833-2438)
- Pontiac: 1-800-762-2737 (TTY 1-800-833-7668)
- Saturn: 1-800-553-6000 (TTY 1-800-833-6000)