A Chronology of GM's Ignition Switch Recall and What It's Doing to Make Amends

By Jacob Brown | March 13, 2014
In the General Motors ignition switch recall that affects some 1.37 million vehicles in the U.S., the automaker is doing the right thing in recalling the vehicles despite having no legal obligation to do so. But it is doing so, even offering up $500 to customers affected by the recall towards the purchase of another GM vehicle. GM is not offering it as a promotional tool and will not advertise it as such, but the offer stands as a make-good. In 2005 and 2006, GM repurchased 13 Chevrolet Cobalts because of faulty ignition switches that could go into accessory or off mode, making the car inoperable. The recall was later issued in 2014 for the 2005-07 Cobalts, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-07 Saturn Ion, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice and the 2007 Saturn Sky.
GM first saw problems with the ignition switches in 2001 when it was testing prototype versions of the Saturn Ion compact sedan. The problem found 1.6 million vehicles distributed worldwide after Delphi changed the specs on the spring used in the ignition switch. Now, GM is telling owners to take any extra keys or weight off the ignition key in order to keep weight from pulling the key back into the off or accessory position. Beginning next month, GM should have all of the necessary parts to replace or repair ignition switches in the aforementioned vehicles. In the meantime, customers with any concerns can contact General Motors' customer service line at (866) 418-6021 for more information. For more information and a timeline of events: Detroit News, Automotive News (Subscription Required), National Highway Transportation Safety Administration