GM said it is aware of 31 reported incidents, including 13
front-seat fatalities, involving frontal crashes in which the
condition may have caused or contributed to the front airbags not
In expanding the recall to 1,620,665 vehicles in the United States,
Canada and Mexico and a small number overseas, the No. 1 U.S.
automaker also said it would review its recall process. It had
previously recalled almost 779,000 cars.
"The process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust
as it should have been," GM's North American head, Alan Batey, said
in a statement. "We will take an unflinching look at what happened
and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward." GM said it
submitted a detailed chronology associated with the initial recall
to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on
All of the crashes occurred off-road and at high speeds, where the
probability of serious or fatal injuries was high regardless of
airbag deployment, a company spokesman said. Failure to wear seat
belts and alcohol use also were factors in some cases, the spokesman
The Detroit company previously said the weight on the key ring, road
conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch
to move out of the "run" position, turning off the engine and most
of the car's electrical components.
Earlier this month, GM said it was recalling 778,562 Chevrolet
Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars from model years 2005 through
On Tuesday, GM added 842,103 Saturn Ion compact cars from 2003
through 2007 model years, Chevy HHR mid-sized vehicles from 2006 and
2007, and the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars from 2006
and 2007. GM no longer makes any of the affected cars.
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The automaker said it is working with suppliers to increase
production of replacement parts and accelerate the process. Batey
said GM would work with consumers on a case-by-case basis to
minimize inconvenience associated with the recall.
Dealers will replace the ignition switch at no charge, but GM
advised that until the fix is made, customers should remove
nonessential items from their key rings.
GM said the ignition switch torque performance may not meet company
specifications. The involved parts were made in Mexico, according to
documents previously filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic
Of the new recalled total, 1,367,146 vehicles are in the United
States, 235,855 are in Canada, 15,073 are in Mexico and 2,591 were
exported outside North America, according to GM.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman; editing by
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