So much information is out there about the GM ignition recall right now, owners of these vehicles may not know where to begin to sift through the information. Here is a list of key items to help you understand just what is going on and what you as an owner of one of these vehicles should do about it.
Is my vehicle involved?
The basic question owners need to know is whether or not their vehicle is included in the recall. According to GM, the vehicles involved are the following: All 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5; 2003-2007 Saturn Ion; 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR; 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada); 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice; and 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles are involved in the recall.
Will I get a notification?
GM says the current owner information from your state vehicle registration will be used to mail out customer communication for the recall. However, if you are driving one of the cars listed in the recall, or if for some reason you are not sure if your car is involved, contact your GM dealer with any questions.
Why is my car being recalled?
GM says there is a risk, under certain conditions, that your ignition switch may move out of the “run” position, resulting in a partial loss of electrical power and turning off the engine. This risk increases if your key ring is carrying added weight (such as more keys or the key fob) or your vehicle experiences rough road conditions or other jarring or impact related events. If the ignition switch is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury or fatality.
Because of the risk involved with added weight on the key ring, GM has stressed that until the recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that you remove all items from your key ring, leaving only the vehicle key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from your key ring.
If my car is on the recall list, what do I do?
When GM notifies you that parts are available, you should contact your GM dealer to arrange a service appointment. Again, GM is stressing that it is very important that you remove all items from your key ring, leaving only the vehicle key. The key fob (if applicable) should also be removed from your key ring.
What is GM doing about this problem?
According to GM, they are taking the steps necessary to get parts. They have stated:
We are working as quickly as possible to obtain parts, and expect to have parts beginning in April of this year. We will contact affected customers as soon as parts are available so that they can schedule an appointment with their dealer to have their vehicle repaired. This service will be performed at no charge.
When are the parts expected to be available?
GM has said they expect the first parts to be available beginning in April, with parts availability improving as time goes on. They have indicated that they will be working with customers on an individual, case-by-case basis to minimize inconvenience associated with the recall, and that they are working with suppliers to meet demand.
How will I know when the parts arrive? Should I just keep checking?
GM has indicated customers will receive a letter informing them when they can contact dealers for repair appointments.
How long will repairs take?
GM has indicated that the actual repair—replacing the ignition switch—takes about 30 minutes, in general. But, because of scheduling requirements, it is likely that dealers will need to keep affected vehicles longer than the actual service correction time of approximately 30 minutes.
I already paid for this on my own, and now GM says it is making this repair for free. Can I get my money back?
When GM notifies you that parts are available, they will also provide instructions for you to request reimbursement if you paid for repairs for the recall condition previously.
GM has indicated that they believe the cars are still safe to drive, as long as the precaution is taken of removing all of the unnecessary weight from the keychain. And, following repairs, they recommend that customers only utilize the key, key ring and key fob (if equipped) that came with the vehicle. In fact, according to Derek Cheek, Service Manager at Ware Chevrolet in Blairsville, GA, there is near “zero danger” if drivers will remove all of the extra weight from their key chain.
Cheek indicated to TorqueNews that this problem could feasibly happen to ANY driver of ANY brand vehicle, not just those involved in the GM recall:
“The swinging inertia of the weight of the keys is the problem, and could happen to any vehicle,” Cheek explained. At this point, only the identified recalled vehicles are being focused on in the press, but, Cheek said, “If you make the key ring heavy enough, it could happen to any car. But, if you take the added weight of a heavy keychain off then the inertia is gone and the effect is gone.” Cheek spoke confidently that removing the weight of the keychain would remove the danger for drivers, saying that without the added weight of a heavy keychain pulling on the ignition and causing the inertia effect, there was basically, “Zero danger. I will assure you of that.”
I have more questions; who can I contact?
Cheek indicated that the best thing to do would be to call your local dealership. Service managers, such as Cheek, will be happy to speak with customers about any questions they may still have unanswered.