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Current GM Ignition Recall Information

Ignition Recall for General Motors Vehicles Including Chevrolet, Pontiac & Saturn Models

The GM ignition recall now encompasses approximately 6 million small vehicles in the Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn lines. The vehicles affected by the General Motors ignition recall date from the 2005 – 2010 model years. Explore this page to learn the details of the GM ignition recall, including a thorough explanation of the defect, a complete list of vehicles included in the recall, and information about filing a General Motors ignition recall lawsuit.

Understanding the GM Ignition Recall

Due to an unsafe condition caused by a defective ignition switch, General Motors has recalled 6 million vehicles during 2014. As a result of low torque or low effort in the ignition switch cylinder, vehicles affected by the GM ignition recall can inadvertently switch from the “Run” key position to the “Accessory” or “Off” key positions while the car is in motion. This can occur with the slightest touch of the steering column or keys, or can be caused by driving over a bump in the road. When a moving vehicle is switched off, electrical power is lost, disabling the brakes, steering, and air bags. Without the ability to brake or steer, the driver has lost control of the vehicle and only luck can prevent an accident. When a collision occurs, drivers and passengers rely on air bags to mitigate the effects of the impact. When airbags fail to deploy, passengers in the vehicle may suffer severe and permanent injuries or death.

GM Ignition Recall

Evidence from GM ignition recall lawsuits in the form of internal company documents and depositions has established that General Motors engineers were aware of the tendency for some small GM cars to lose power while in operation. In 2004, prior to the launch of the ’05 model years, GM learned of the problem and opened an investigation. GM workers were able to recreate the problem in test drives, and sought a solution. Various solutions were conceived, but open considering the cost of a widespread GM ignition recall, the investigation was closed without further action. According to a March 12, 2014 article in USA Today, “A tracking inquiry and solutions were considered, but the inquiry was closed, the company said, ‘after consideration of the lead time required, cost and effectiveness of each of these solutions’." Ultimately, an engineer responsible for these parts approved the design of the ignition system even though he was aware of its flaws.

The next year, in 2005, General Motors heard from many drivers about the problem, and again a redesign was proposed to improve the ignition system. The redesigned key was not produced at that time, nor was a GM ignition recall issued. In a private safety notification called a “Technical Service Bulletin”, GM notified dealerships of the tendency for certain General Motors vehicles including Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac to lose power, disabling the airbags. Dealers were instructed only to offer information or solutions when customers complained of the problem, which was far short of the needed GM ignition recall.

GM waited ten years to tell customers about the hazardous ignition defect in millions of vehicles.

In 2006, the engineer who originally approved the design of the ignition system approved a new design which represents an improvement over the first faulty ignition system. Again, no General Motors ignition recall was announced. In fact, the new, improved ignition system did not even receive a new part number, making the change difficult to track.

It was not until 2014, under new CEO Mary Barra, that the company finally announced a GM ignition recall. The company admits to at least 13 deaths resulting from loss of power to the airbags which can be traced to the GM ignition recall. The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group, counts over 300 deaths that can be traced to the loss of power in General Motors vehicles. The company has faced aggressive questioning from federal investigators and congress regarding the long delay in issuing a GM ignition recall.

GM Ignition Recall Timeline

2002: GM ignition switch design approved despite design and safety concerns. Installed in the Saturn Ion, Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky.

2004: GM learns of tendency for engine to shut down in the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt due to ignition switch defects.

December 2005: General Motors communicates with dealers privately via a “Technical Service Bulletin”, warning of the problem and recommending the use of a snap-on key cover to resolve consumer complaints. Customers who do not complain to the dealer are not notified of the problem; no GM ignition recall is announced.

May 2005: General Motors engineer proposes a redesign of the ignition switches, but the proposal is rejected.

July 29, 2005: 16-year-old Amber Marie Rose dies when her Chevy Cobalt loses power while she is driving at a high speed and the airbags fail to deploy.

April 2006: GM approves a redesign of the faulty ignition switches, which is a considered an improvement rather than a fix to the problem. The engineer responsible chooses not to change the part number, making the redesign difficult to track. The new part is installed in 2007 GM vehicles.

November 2007: After reviewing a collection of crash reports for Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions related to faulty ignition switches and failed airbags, the NHTSA opts not to open a further investigation. Again, no General Motors ignition recall is issued.

April 2013: A GM ignition switch lawsuit for wrongful death reveals the fact that engineers and GM executives knew of the safety flaw as early as 2004 and that the part’s design was improved in 2006.

February 2014: First GM ignition recall is issued to repair the defect in 1.6 million cars; subsequent GM ignition recall announcements bring the total to over 6 million GM cars.

April 2014: General Motors CEO testifies before a Congressional Committee regarding the delay in the GM ignition recall.

May 16, 2014: Federal government fines GM a record $35 million as a penalty for its long delay in notifying consumers of the ignition switch defect through a widespread ignition recall.

June 6, 2014: General Motors releases a 315-page report from the internal investigation the company conducted on the ignition switch defect cover-up. GM also announces the establishment of a compensation fund for victims of accidents related to the GM ignition switch recall.

Vehicles Subject to the General Motors Ignition Recall

The first GM ignition recall was issued on February 25, 2014 for a total of 1,367,146 vehicles. The makes, models, and years of the first GM ignition recall included:

The second GM ignition recall was issued on March 28, 2014 and included the following 823,788 vehicles:

A third GM ignition recall was announced on April 9, 2014, citing defective parts on 2,191,014 cars:

General Motors Ignition Recall Lawyers Help Individuals and Families Harmed by Ignition Defect

Our attorneys handling GM ignition recall lawsuits provide expert legal representation for persons or family members of persons who were harmed while driving a vehicle that was later subject to the General Motors ignition recall. They will work tirelessly on your behalf to assure you get the compensation you deserve. If you are a family member was harmed in a vehicle that is part of the General Motors ignition recall, a GM recall attorney can help by answering your questions and giving you a sense of your legal options.

GM Ignition Recall Lawsuits

Persons who were harmed in a vehicle that lost power as a result of the condition described in the General Motors ignition recall may have legal grounds to file a GM ignition recall lawsuit for damages. We provide legal representation for GM ignition recall lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning there are never any legal fees unless we win compensation on your behalf. Filing a GM ignition recall lawsuit not only provides compensation for the loss and suffering of a family, but may serve to motivate General Motors to strive for increased safety and accountability in the future.