The General Motors recall is hitting home in the Panhandle, as locals find themselves among the two million people affected. The faulty ignition switch that reportedly cost GM 57 cents per piece has caused more than 13 deaths around the country.
As cars have grown increasingly more mechanically sophisticated, recalls have increased, as there were four more million recalls in 2013 than there were in 2012. GMâ??s newest recall means that millions of faulty ignition switches around the country may malfunction.
According to GM, â??There is a risk, under certain conditions, that your ignition switch may move out of the â??runâ?? position, resulting in a partial loss of electrical power and turning off the engine.â??
Cars affected include:
2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5,
2003-2007 Saturn Ion,
2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR,
2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada),
2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and
2007 Saturn Sky vehicles are involved in the recall.
And on March 28, 2014, the recall was expanded to include the following vehicles:
2008â??2010 Pontiac Solstice and G5,
2008-2010 Saturn Sky,
2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt,
2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR.
It is up to dealers to spot a trend of faulty parts, and then notify the manufacturer of a design flaw that may require the revamping of an auto part. But sometimes, dealers fix problems without telling the carâ??s owner. If you happen to repair your vehicle at an independent mechanic, they have their own process of notifying the manufacturer, and you will also be told if the problem you have is part of a larger, common parts problem.
â??If that is indeed something that is a known issue with the manufacturer, we inform the customer that is an issue that the manufacturer has seen and documented,â?? Brian Hoffman of Christian Brothers Automotive said. â??In many cases, we provide them with a technical service bulletin number.â??
According to local officials, there are no documented cases of local accidents stemming from this faulty ignition switch. After an accident, all automobiles have a â??black boxâ?? much like airplanes that can be used to figure out what caused the accident.
â??We have the capability of downloading the airbag control module which some people call a black box and that can tell us the speed of the motor,â?? Trooper Ray with Texas Highway Patrol said. â??It can tell us if the brakes were applied.â??
For now, there have been more than 13 deaths, maybe much more because of the faulty ignition switches. GMâ??s bankruptcy filing in 2009 shields them from lawsuits for injuries resulting from activities prior to the bankruptcy, but the company will probably end up compensating victims voluntarily.
Lupe Olivas and Angela Castro Riles of Amarillo both commented on Pronews 7â??s Facebook page saying that she received a letter informing her of a faulty ignition three weeks ago. GM says that theyâ??re mailing out customer communication for the recall through the information from your state vehicle registration.
Several other people have also chimed in on ProNews 7â??s Facebook such as Stephany Seth who said she â??called a Chevy dealer about two days ago to see when they would be able to change the parts and they told me they haven't received any parts.â??
Robin Gerard Neece
said that she travels about 140 miles for her job now and the sheâ??s afraid to drive it as sheâ??s had issues with the ignition switch prior to the recall.
In congressional testimony, the GM CEO Mary Barra was grilled about why so many people have died over a piece that reportedly costs 57 cents per piece.
â??Why in the world would a company with a stellar reputation like GM purchase a part that did not meet its own specifications?â?? asked Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) at the hearing.
GM says that the new switches will be available April 7, so make sure you make an appointment with you GM service provider. In the meantime, the risk for malfunction increases if your key ring is carrying more weight, so be sure to remove all items from your key ring, and use only the vehicle key when driving.