General Motors announced today that it would be expanding a recent recall of compact cars due to ignition issues.
According to an article on CNN.com, the recall affects 1.37 million vehicles, including Chervolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5 cars, Saturn Ions, Chevrolet HHRs, Pontiac Solstices, and Saturn Skys manufactured between 2003 and 2007. The ignition can possibly switch out of “Run” while the car is being driven, shutting off the car’s engine and disabling the brakes, power steering, and airbags.
As a result of this malfunction, there have been 13 deaths and 31 frontal crashes.
Adding to the recall are accusations that GM did not respond quickly enough when the issue was discovered. Under current law, vehicle problems must be reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within 5 days of discovery. There is speculation that a GM engineer experienced the problem during a test drive in 2004.
General Motors is notifying customers of the issue and requesting that affected cars be brought to the dealer. They also warn customers to avoid keeping heavy objects on key chains as the weight of objects on the keychain could cause a key to turn accidentally.