In March of 2014 General Motors Corporation (GM) announced a recall of 2.6 million compact cars worldwide: these include all 2003-2007 Saturn ION, 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky models.
The recall was announced due to faulty ignition switches which can unexpectedly slip out of the "run" position to "accessory" or "off." That shuts off the engine, power-assisted steering and brakes and can cause drivers to lose control of their cars. It also disables the air bags.
The defect has led to 13 deaths and Congressional inquiries into why the company didn't recall affected vehicles sooner. In many of the crashes, drivers have inexplicably veered off the road or into traffic. The company is fighting a motion in a Texas federal court that would force it to tell the cars' owners to stop driving them until they are repaired. GM says the cars are safe as long as objects are removed from the key chain. Plaintiffs claim that fix is insufficient. A judge is expected to rule this week.
In addition to the original recall, GM has announced that it is also recalling 2.19 million Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Saturn Ion, Sky, Pontiac G5 and Solstice models to fix a problem that allows keys to be removed from ignitions that are not in the "off" position: drivers can remove the key while the engine is still running. This could lead to a rollaway or crash, and GM says it knows of one related injury.
Until the recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that owners of these vehicles remove all items from their key ring, leaving only the vehicle key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. It is also very important before exiting the vehicle for customers to make sure the vehicle is in “Park”, or in the case of a manual transmission, to put the transmission into reverse gear and set the parking brake.
For more information on this GM recall visit www.gmignitionupdate.com
Fast on the heels of this massive recall by General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that they are recalling 6.39 million vehicles globally for a variety of problems spanning nearly 30 models in Japan, North America, Europe and other places. Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall cases cover 27 Toyota models, including the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, produced from April 2004 through August 2013. The Pontiac Vibe, which is a General Motors Co. model, is also involved because Toyota and GM made cars at the same plant in California and the recalled model is the same as the Toyota Matrix. It was recalled for a problem with a spiral cable attached to an airbag. It is unrelated to a separate GM recall over ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.
One of the recalls affects 360,963 cars and SUVs with a spiral cable assembly that can be damaged when the steering wheel is turned and then, potentially, prevent the driver’s airbag from deploying in a crash. The spiral cable assembly is in a large range of models, including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander, and Tacoma, that were from various model years.
Certain models of the Yaris hatchback, the Yaris sedan and the 2010 model of the Scion xD are also being recalled for seat rails that may not click into position after an adjustment — increasing the risk of injury in a crash.
Toyota’s latest recalls were announced before the company even developed specific repairs. They come two weeks after the U.S. Justice Department skewered the Japanese automaker for covering up problems that caused unintended acceleration in some cars starting in 2009. Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle that case, but federal prosecutors can resurrect a wire fraud charge if the company fails to comply with the terms of the settlement.
For more information on this Toyota recall visit www.toyota.com