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Jamie Sheller
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General Motors Recalls Millions of Vehicles Over Safety Concerns

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At a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing this week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra admitted she didn’t know why the largest U.S. automaker delayed in recalling faulty ignition switches in millions of vehicles.
This testimony comes on the heels of General Motors recalling more than 2.6 million vehicles for various safety issues. The ignition defect causes the car to switch to “accessory” mode and shuts down the engine, causing the vehicle to lose power, even while driving. The company has also determined that the airbags have failed to deploy due to this loss of power, resulting in multiple fatalities and serious injuries.
Vehicles Inplicated in the Faulty Ignition Switch Recalls
• 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
• 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR
• 2007-2010 Pontiac G5
• 2006-20010 Pontiac Solstice
• 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
• 2006-2010 Saturn Sky
Loss of Power While Driving
Independent and internal investigations into the recalled vehicles have found that something as simple as a heavy key chain or a rough road can cause the vehicle to lose all engine and electrical power. While the ignition is in this “accessory” setting, the driver’s ability to control the vehicle is severely impacted, as they lose all access to power steering and power brakes. Furthermore, the investigations have revealed that the defective ignition switch can prevent the air bags from deploying in case of a crash.
General Motors Delays Ignition Switch Recalls
Engineers at General Motors have known about this problem for more than a decade. In 2005, a company engineer experienced the defect while test driving a Chevrolet Cobalt. General Motors sent out “Technical Service Bulletins” to dealers with instructions to fix the vehicle. “Technical Service Bulletins” are issued when an automaker deems the auto defect not to be a serious safety issue. To fix the problem in 2005 represented “an unacceptable business case” for General Motors, because the replacement switch would have cost 57 cents per car. General Motors has publicly acknowledged that over 30 accidents have occurred and over a dozen people have been killed as a result of this defect. A study conducted by the Center for Auto Safety, a watchdog group, links the recalled vehicles to 303 deaths.
Additional General Motors Recalls
In addition to the faulty ignition switches, General Motors has recalled another 1.3 million vehicles that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist which can lead to issues with side airbag deployment and possible engine fires.
Vehicles Implicated in the Additional Recalls
• 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 & 2009 Chevrolet Malibus
• 2004-2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
• 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHR
• 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
• 2008-2009 Saturn Aura
• 2004-2007 Saturn ION
• 2005, 2006, 2008, & 2009 Pontiac G6

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  1. deborah lanierhall says:
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    i have saturn ion o7 i brought it for my college daughter i am so scared thus i dont have the means to buy a new one we got a rental that i cost 50.00 thus she safe who can i talk to about the a frame break last summer which cost me a 1k stressed scared worried help in the motor city