Man unsure of the safety of his medicine

Breaking news and expert analysis on legal and compliance issues

[Back To Home][Back To Archives]

From Products Liability Law Daily, February 26, 2014

GM expands ignition switch recall to include over 1.3 million vehicles

By Joe Bichl

General Motors has announced that it is expanding the recall of certain 2003-2007 model year vehicles (14V047) to correct a condition with the ignition switch that may allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the “accessory” or “off” position, turning off the engine and most of the electrical components on the vehicle.

Vehicles involved in recall. In addition to 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada only, GM is separately recalling 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, and 2007 Saturn Sky models. With this expansion, the number of the recalled vehicles in the United States now stands at 1,367,146.

According to a GM news release, the expanded recall raises the number of reported incidents involving frontal crashes, in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the non-deployment of the frontal airbags, to 31 involving 13 front-seat fatalities.

Recall summary. GM is recalling these vehicles because the ignition switch may turn off. According to the initial GM recall notice, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may knock the ignition switch out of the “run” position, turning off the engine. If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury, the company warned.

GM  said it submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week a chronology associated with its initial recall of the ignition switch performance condition in the recalled vehicles, detailing events that happened during the time that elapsed between receiving the first field reports and issuing a recall.

Remedy. GM currently is taking action to address customer concerns and working with its suppliers to increase parts production in an effort to accelerate repairs. The company indicated that it will notify all affected customers of the recall and will make repairs at no charge to  them. In addition, GM said it will work with customers on an “individual, case-by-case basis to minimize inconvenience associated with the recall.” Dealers will replace the ignition switch to prevent the unintentional or inadvertent key movement. GM is advising its customers to use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring until the repair is completed.

Contact information. For more information, consumers can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020 or Pontiac at 1-800-762-2737. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visithttp://www.safercar.gov.

Companies: General Motors

MainStory: TopStory NHTSANews ProductRecallsNews MotorVehiclesNews

Products Liability Law Daily

Introducing Wolters Kluwer Products Liability Law Daily — a daily reporting service created by attorneys, for attorneys — providing same-day coverage of breaking news, court decisions, legislation, and regulatory activity.


A complete daily report of the news that affects your world

  • View full summaries of federal and state court decisions.
  • Access full text of legislative and regulatory developments.
  • Customize your daily email by topic and/or jurisdiction.
  • Search archives for stories of interest.

Not just news — the right news

  • Get expert analysis written by subject matter specialists—created by attorneys for attorneys.
  • Track law firms and organizations in the headlines with our new “Who’s in the News” feature.
  • Promote your firm with our new reprint policy.

24/7 access for a 24/7 world

  • Forward information with special copyright permissions, encouraging collaboration between counsel and colleagues.
  • Save time with mobile apps for your BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle.
  • Access all links from any mobile device without being prompted for user name and password.