Late on Friday, General Motors opened up again about the widely publicized recall covering all automobiles under six major models. The recall, regarding defective ignition switches, initially covered all models up to the 2007 model year of GM's Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky. Today, however, a statement was released with information that General Motors will be adding 824,000 newer cars to the recall as well. GM claims that the addition is being done out of caution because it is believed that about 5,000 newer vehicles received the same defective switch that spurned the initial recall.
Just this last February, GM recalled vehicles in those categories that were made between the years 2003 and 2007. The global ignition switch that called for the recall was linked to at least a dozen deaths. Shortly after GM's initial recall of 1.6 million vehicles, investigations began by federal entities such as Congress, the Department of Justice and federal motor vehicle regulators. The questions surrounding the situation all wondered why it could have taken a major motor vehicle manufacturer this long to catch the defect.
The ignition switch had been sold as after-market products as well as being installed in brand new cars. General Motors added 824,000 newer models in the United States to the recall as well as 971,000 vehicles globally. According to Reuters, which reported on the story, not all of these switches are necessarily defective. However, it is impossible know for sure unless the part is taken apart and examined closely. Therefore, the possibility that the defect may have ventured into newer models was enough for GM to take drastic, precautionary measures.
General Motors will be replacing all ignition switches in vehicles eligible for the recall. The company stated that it will notify owners of available replacements at local dealers—obviously, the replacement will be free of charge for the vehicle owners. The notifications will be made by mail and should be postmarked within the week of April 21.
GM has also launched a website to provide vehicle owners with updated information and access to inquiries concerning the recall at www.gmignitionupdate.com.
Arnold & Itkin LLP provides legal representation to victims of car accidents that may have resulted from an automobile defect. To learn more about these types of product liability claims, contact our firm and speak with a member of our team today.