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Ignition Switch Safety Recall
In February, 2014, General Motors recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to the deaths of 13 people. To make matters worse, the company may have known about the defect for over a decade.
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's a flexible sensor mat in the passenger seat of your car and it's primary job is to evaluate who's sitting in the seat and turn the airbag on (for adults) or off (for kids).
Well, turns out it's not so flexible since GM announced the sensor can get damaged by – get this – sitting on the seat. Oh, what a world.
After nearly 1,000 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), GM recalled 91,000 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky cars.keep reading
The ignition switch can be knocked out of the "run" position by bumping into it. Once that happens the car loses all power steering and brakes, engine power and airbag function.
Next steps: GM hasn't said when the recall will begin, but the automaker is warning owners to allow as much clearance between your knee and key as possible by adjusting your seat and/or steering wheel. Once the recall begins, GM dealers will remove the key blade from the original transmitter assemblies and cut and fit a revised key blade and housing assembly.
Affected owners can contact Chevy at 800-222-1020 or Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and reference recall number 14445.keep reading
GM is ambiguously saying there is a "brake fluid issue" that could cause braking problems. Thanks, guys. The only information they're providing beyond that is this recall originally started as a "customer satisfaction program" in 2012. Apparently customers weren't satisfied.
Next steps: GM doesn't know when the recall will begin. If you're wondering how long to expect, think of GM like a deli counter where you just pulled number 29,002,000. In other words, you'll unfortunately be waiting a while.
But Wait, There's More... ∞
To make matters worse -- and yes, it can get worse -- GM's website is doing a horrible job at informing owners if their car needs repairs. Logic would state that you could use your vehicle's unique identification number (VIN) to find out if your car has been recalled. But logic has no place in GM's world, according to NHTSA who says that "anyone who used GM's website to check if their car had been recalled needs to check again".
Turns out GM's website wasn't working before. Which is appropriate, because neither are their cars. Frustrated yet? Give Chevy a ring at 800-222-1020 or Pontiac at 800-762-2737.keep reading
population of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont (Yes, there are people -- not just cows -- in VT) and Wyoming.
- The number of calories my Uncle Hank ate over the holiday weekend. Seriously, he's a bottomless pit.
According to GM, this latest round of problems involves mostly ignition switch related issues that are responsible for at least 7 crashes, 8 injuries and 3 deaths. The full list and details can be found here.
Unintended Key Rotation ∞
The largest part of the recall involves 7.6 million vehicles that suffer from, what GM is calling, "unintended ignition key rotation." Of course, there's another name for that too -- "unintended holy %$#! my car just shut itself off on the highway." This is dangerous and affects a wide range of cars:
- 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
- 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
- 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
- 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
What To Do Next ∞
- GM has not announced when the recall will begin
It should be in the next couple months but it's probably hard to gauge when you have 29 million vehicles in your repair queue.
- Keep an eye on your mailbox for an official recall notice with more details
Not literally, though. Putting your eye on the mailbox sounds painful and will probably worry the neighbors.
- GM is stressing the importance of removing all items from your key ring, leaving only the vehicle key
At least until your ignition is fixed. Sorry bowling league keychain -- you have to go.
els like any GM built in the last 10 years has been pulled back for some sort of repairs. That's especially true for certain Malibu, Malibu Maxx and Pontiac G6 cars that have now been recalled for the 2nd time this month.
Less than two weeks ago, those vehicles were recalled for a faulty wiring harness that could cause the brake lights to go crazy. Now those same vehicles are being recalled again because the transmission shift cable can break. Once that happens your shifter could be lying to you. For example, you could put the car's shifter in park only to have it roll away because the transmission was really in neutral. Or you could put the car in reverse only to end up driving into a storefront because the transmission was actually in drive. It's like a grab bag of fun, without any of the fun.
Here's the breakdown of the 1.1 million cars that are likely to, well ... break down. All the recalled vehicles have automatic transmissions:
- 2004-2008 Chevrolet Malibu, manufactured between 05/16/03 and 10/05/07
- 2004-2007 Malibu Maxx, manufactured between 06/25/03 and 04/05/07
- 2005-2008 Pontiac G6, manufactured between 05/26/04 and 09/28/07
If you're confused, concerned or just ticked off you can contact GM at 1-800-553-6000 and refer to recall #14152. GM will eventually notify owners, and GM dealers will replace the shift cable assembly and mounting bracket, free of charge.keep reading
in June, 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the possessed brakes of the Pontiac G6. Basically, the brake lights would come on when they shouldn't and not work when they should. It was a mess -- not to mention pretty darn confusing to anyone following one of these cars down the road.
NHTSA concluded that "increased resistance in the body control module connection was resulting in voltage fluctuations in the brake apply sensor circuit". Bottom line, the wiring was fubar and the problem was much wider-reaching than just the brake lights of the Pontiac G6. In fact, the cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and basically any other kind of control could be messed up in millions of GM vehicles.
Thankfully, GM is bringing in 2.4 million vehicles to address the faulty wiring harness. Maybe it has something to do with safety being at the heart of what they do now, but I'm guessing they're just [tired of being sued]. Either way, the recalled vehicles include:
There is no schedule for when the recall will begin, but concerned owners can contact Chevy at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737, or Saturn at 800-553-6000. GM's number for this recall is 13036. In the meantime, maybe you should brush up on your hand signals?keep reading