General Motors Finally Admits Fault in Deadly Ignition Switch Defect, More Recalls Ordered
General Motors Co. issued a statement this week explaining that it is recalling an additional 1.5 million vehicles worldwide because of a documented history of problems with the electronic power-steering assist which can suddenly stop working, making them more difficult to steer. The new recall brings the total number to 6.3 million vehicles that GM has recalled since February. This latest recall comes on the heels of an initial recall for a deadly ignition switch defect which prompted GM to name a new safety chief. In particular, there have been several concerns about the Chevy Cobalt.
Many customers had already viewed the Chevy Cobalt as a lemon long before the car became known for having a deadly ignition defect. Cobalt owners lodged a barrage of complaints including power steering failures, doors jamming shut in the rain, locks closing and opening for no reason, and even windows falling out.
Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, testified before Congress this week that the company still doesn’t know why it took 10 years to recall cars with flawed ignition switches that killed at least 13 people. Barra says the company is still searching for answers as to why the automaker ordered a recall in February 2014 for an ignition switch defect it first learned about as early as 2004.
The faulty ignition switch can turn off the car when it is driving, disabling airbags, the power steering and the anti-lock brakes. In the United States where most of the recalled cars are located, the recall covers the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, the Pontiac G5 and Solstice, as well as the Saturn Ion and Sky.
“Whatever mistakes were made in the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now and in the future.” Barra added, “Today’s GM will do the right thing.” Nonetheless, GM still argues in court that it is not liable for any deaths that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy, a process that shielded it from lawsuits against the old version of the company.
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