General Motors Recalls Millions of Cars Made With Fatal Flaw


Another GM Recall Affects Millions of Cars

July 1, 2014 UPDATE— GM's recall tally is growing – another 8.45 million cars have been recalled. This brings the total number of recalled vehicles close to 29 million.

This number outweighs GM's total car sales from the years 2005-2013.

GM reports that the latest two fatalities in recalled cars did not necessarily occur because of faulty ignitions, but rather an airbag failure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still less than pleased, however, and is warning consumers to drive the affected vehicles with nothing attached to the key to reduce the risk of jarring the key loose.

Recently added to the list of recalled models are as follows:

  • '97-'05 Chevy Malibu
  • '99-'05 Pontiac Grand Am
  • '00-'05 Chevy Impala
  • '04-'06 Cadillac SRX
  • '13-'14 Cadillac CTS

The following recalls were not specific to year:

  • Buick Rainiers
  • Buick Trailblazer
  • Saab
  • Chevy Cruze
  • Chevy Sonic
  • Chevy Trax
  • Buick Encore
  • Buick Verano
  • Chevy Silverado
  • Buick Regal

GM Fined After Failing to Answer Questions Regarding Recall

May 16, 2014 UPDATE—The fine against General Motors (GM) for building cars with faulty ignition switches has reached $35 million after they failed to cooperate with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).The bad switches have been linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths.

Fines have been increasing since April 3 after GM allegedly missed deadlines to respond to the NHTSA's questions about the defective switches, such as those found in the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt.

Two new production lines have opened up to replace faulty switches by early October. This is GM's next deadline to avoid further harsh action.

April 11, 2014 UPDATE—Federal safety officials recently imposed a hefty fine on General Motors (GM) for failing to adequately answer questions regarding their controversial ignition switch recall.

Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) declared that GM had until April 3, 2014 to answer the government's inquiries about events leading up to the ignition switch recall. Now, the NHTSA maintains that GM missed the April 3 deadline because of the automaker's failure to fully respond to the agency's 107 questions—GM did not respond to one third of the total questions asked.

GM will now be fined $7000 for each day the company continues to withhold this critical information from the government as well as consumers. This is the maximum fine that the NHTSA is allowed to charge, which indicates the severity of GM's evasive actions since the automaker first announced the recall of millions of defective vehicles in February.

New Hazardous Defect Prompts Another GM Recall

April 1, 2014 UPDATE—Only one day before General Motors' CEO testifies to Congress regarding its recent recall of vehicles with faulty ignition switches, the automaker announced yet another recall—But this time, a separate safety defect is to blame.

This new recall involves more than 1.5 million more GM vehicles. The recalled cars may potentially experience a sudden loss of power steering. If the power steering system fails, the driver could still steer the vehicle. However, steering would be significantly harder, especially at low speeds, and the driver would have to exert much more force on the steering wheel. This added difficulty makes drivers more likely to crash. GM maintains that drivers will instantly know if the power steering system fails because both a chime and dashboard message will appear.

GM vehicles included in this recent recall:

  • All 2004-2005 Chevrolet Malibus, plus certain models from 2006, 2008, and 2009
  • All 2004-2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxxs, and certain 2006 models
  • Various 2009-2010 Non-turbocharged Chevrolet HHRs
  • Various 2010 Chevrolet Cobalts
  • Certain 2008-2009 Saturn Auras
  • All 2004-2007 Saturn Ions
  • All 2005 Pontiac G6 models, plus some 2006, 2008, and 2009 vehicles

Combined with other recalls, this brings the total number of vehicles GM has recalled worldwide to a whopping 6.26 million in 2014 alone. Some GM vehicles involved in the power steering recall are also included in GM's earlier ignition switch recall, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, and Ion models.

General Motors Recalls Even More Dangerous Vehicles

MARCH 31, 2014 UPDATE—The widespread General Motors (GM) recall that began earlier this year has now grown to include 2.6 million vehicles.

Initially, GM recalled 1.4 million vehicles because they contained defective ignition switches which can easily be jostled out of the "Run" position and into the "Off" or "Accessory" position. This can suddenly cut power to the vehicle's braking and steering systems and cause the airbags to stop working.

On March 28, GM added 824,000 cars to the already massive recall. While the original recall included the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, the Pontiac G5 and Solstice, and Saturn Ion and Sky through model year 2007, the automaker is now including those vehicles in model years 2008-2011. According to GM, the same faulty ignition switches could also be found in vehicles from newer model years. GM sold over 95,000 of the ignition switches to auto dealers who may have installed them as a repair after owners purchased one of the newer models.

Out of the 2.6 million vehicles worldwide now part of the recall, 2.2 million were sold in the United States. GM confirms that the defective ignition switches have caused at least 13 fatal car accidents so far.

US Government Now Investigating General Motors Recall

MARCH 12, 2014 UPDATE—A congressional committee is now launching an investigation into the massive recall announced by General Motors (GM) last month.

The recall involved nearly 1.4 million GM vehicles containing defective ignition switches that have potentially caused 13 front-seat deaths and 31 car accidents. The House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to know whether GM and government regulators should have alerted car owners sooner.

Although the CEO of General Motors claims that she was only recently made aware of these concerns, newly released documents reveal that certain GM engineers knew of the faulty ignition switches 10 years ago, but did not deem it a serious safety issue. When GM eventually recognized the seriousness of the situation, internal communication problems caused further delays in reporting it.

If GM had effectively reported the problem and initiated the recall sooner, they may have been able to prevent the tragic fatalities caused by these defective ignition switches. The congressional committee will hold a hearing in the upcoming weeks on the matter.

General Motors Recalls 1.37 Million Cars Made With Fatal Flaw

MARCH 6, 2014 ORIGINAL STORY—The CEO of General Motors recently announced that she will personally oversee the recall of over one million GM vehicles. These vehicles could contain defective ignition switches that are seriously endangering the lives of drivers.

The malfunctioning ignition switches can inadvertently move out of "run" position into "accessory." This turns off the engine and kills power to safety systems—including air bags.

It is extremely rare for a CEO to spearhead recall efforts, but this action confirms the gravity of the situation. GM reports that these defective ignition switches may have already caused 13 front-seat deaths and 31 car accidents where front air bags did not deploy.

The GM vehicles involved in the U.S. recall include:

  • 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalts
  • 2003-07 Saturn Ions
  • 2006-07 Chevrolet HHRs
  • 2006-07 Pontiac Solstices
  • 2007 Saturn Sky models
  • 2007 Pontiac G5 models

General Motors may have been aware of these defective ignition switches as early as 2004, however they continued their use until late 2006, ignoring the potential risks for consumers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating whether GM reported the safety problem soon enough.

Injured Driving an Unsafe Car?

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Source: “In rare move, GM CEO says she's directing recall.” March 5, 2014.
“Congress to investigate GM recall.” March 11, 2014.
“GM recall: 10 things you need to know.” March 30, 2014.
“GM to recall 1.5 million vehicles to fix electric power steering issue.” March 31, 2014.
“Feds fine GM for too little data too late.” April 8, 2014.
"GM to Recall 8.45 Million More Vehicles in North America." Wall Street Journal. July 1, 2014.