Does GM have any safe cars? GM has recalled another 8.5 million vehicles this week, including more than 8 million for ignition-switch defects. These defects resulted in 3 deaths in accidents with affected cars. GM knows of at least seven crashes involving cars with ignition-switch defects.
The latest recall is also taking a nice chunk out of GM’s bottom line. The automaker expects a $1.2 billion charge to earnings for the current quarter, up from $500 million before the latest recall.
This week’s recall puts the total number of GM recalled vehicles at 29 million. That’s more than the country’s combined U.S. sales between 2005-2013.
How will GM fix the ignition switch problems? Dealers will change the slot on the vehicle’s’ key head to a small hole. This should help lower the potential for swinging key chains to move the ignition out of the run position. How do swinging key chains not get tested? Most people don’t just drive around with the car key and nothing else.
We know there’s a problem with the ignition switch. But, what can happen? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the ignition defects in the latest recall “can result in the airbag not deploying in the event of a crash. Until this recall is performed, customers should use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring when operating the vehicle.”
It’s not clear if this is the last recall for GM vehicles. GM CEO Mary Barra said last week more recalls could happen.
“We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers,” Ms. Barra said. “If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation.”
What should you do? If you have an affected car, use only the ignition key when driving around. And, get it fixed ASAP.