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From Products Liability Law Daily, June 17, 2014

GM recalls over three million more defective cars

By Joe Bichl

General Motors has reported that it will recall an additional 3.16 million defective vehicles to replace the ignition keys, bringing the total to nearly 6.5 million vehicles that have been recalled for this particular issue.

According to GM, the ignition switch may inadvertently move out of the “run” position if the key is carrying extra weight and experiences some “jarring event.” If the ignition switch moves out of the “run” position, there is an effect on power steering and power braking. In addition, the timing of the key movement out of the “run” position may result in the air bags not deploying.

In February, GM recalled 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars due to ignition system troubles. The automaker has linked at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes to that defect.

The vehicles currently being recalled include model years 2005-2009 Buck Lacrosse, 2006-2014 Chevrolet Impala, 2000-2005 Cadillac Deville, 2007-2011 Cadillac DTS, 2006-2011 Buick Lucerrne, 2005 Buick Regal LS & GS, and 2006-2008 Chevy Monte Carlo vehicles.

Remedy. In these vehicles, the ignition switch may be unable to handle extra weight hanging on a slotted key. GM said it will add an insert to the ignition keys of the recalled vehicles to “close the slot and leave a 4x6-millimeter hole through which the key ring could be attached.” In vehicles where the key cover has been worn, new keys with holes instead of slots will be provided free of charge.

“The use of a key with a hole, rather than a slotted key, addresses the concern of unintended key rotation due to a jarring road event, such as striking a pothole or crossing railroad tracks,” GM indicated.

The recall is expected to begin in the next few weeks. Until the repair is completed, owners of the recalled cars are urged to remove additional weight from their key chains and drive with only the ignition key.

Congressional hearing scheduled. The House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has scheduled a hearing for June 18, 2014, to receive a briefing from General Motors CEO Mary Barra on GM’s progress on the ignition switch recall. In addition, the committee will hear from Anton Valukas, the author of GM’s recently released internal recall investigation report. The hearing is set for 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Companies: General Motors

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews NHTSANews MotorVehiclesNews

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