So in the past few months General Motors (GM), has recalled close to 20 million cars, most for a faulty ignition. The problem seems to be the tumbler in the ignition, it’s just like the lock in the front door of your house and when that is loose it doesn’t stay in the right position. Or you have to “jiggle it” to get the door to lock right, trust me I know about that one.
The problem is with a car if the key doesn’t stay in the “On” position while you’re driving (and slides back left to "ACC" or off), is that you lose all power, steering, brakes, airbags and basically you become a missile with no control until you can stop somehow (or unfortunately crash), and then your safety system will not work.
It’s well documented that GM cut a lot of corners on cars in the past and that goes back decades (you can even go back to the 1960’s with the ill-fated Chevrolet Corvair, remember “Unsafe at any speed?), and now it’s coming to back to haunt them.
It seems that is small ignition part that controls so much was not up to quality standards initially and GM had it manufactured anyway (via a outsourced manufacturer), and this began with small cars like the Chevrolet Cobalt about 10 years ago and just grew from there, now Camaros, Impalas and many other models are affected.
I own a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu and just today I played with the key in the ignition and it’s pretty tight, nothing to be concerned about. But many cars from the mid 2000’s (and for several years afterwards), have faulty ignitions that are a safety nightmare.
GM needs to avoid the precedent of Toyota of not taking care of a mass recall right away (and making excuses for it like saying its heavy rings of keys causing the problem which was initially told to customers prior to the recall), I was a Toyota owner during their recall debacle of a few years ago and I was given the run around, lied to and then made to wait & wait to try and get my car repaired. In fact I lost patience and traded in that Toyota for the Chevrolet I own now.
GM needs to be unprecedented with this and should go back and open up some of their shuttered dealerships (and any other closed car stores they can rent), and make them “service centers”, have a staff in the showroom of the dealership to answer questions and make appointments but the rest of the of the store to be service bays where they can work nonstop to replace the faulty parts. These “service centers” should be plentiful and open 8-8 every day of the week until every last car is fixed. And GM needs to pay for this 100% as in any recall. It would show they are serious about safety and their customers. These “service centers” would have no other function but to fix this recall, no other sales or service. But they would take the pressure off their dealerships that will be overwhelmed with this recall (I was at my local dealership during the last Chevrolet Equinox recall, it slows things down for even a small recall), and makes this large scale recall a quicker fix.
I have owned three Chevrolet's and I can attest to GM being terrible in the past both with product and dealerships and now my current car is excellent and the local dealership is great but GM has to quickly take care of this problem. Just be honest, tell us if any more cars are involved and simply “make it right”.
My Malibu has recall on it right now that is unrelated to the faulty ignitions (it’s for lighting), but at this rate it would be years before that issue can be taken care of.
GM is literally recalling cars at a faster rate than they can sell them and it looks awful despite right now they have a new quality product on the road but unless they can get this past problem rectified, they will damage the future of new cars on the road.
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