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GM Ignition Key Replacement For Pickups, SUVs

In what has become a long string of bad news for the troubled American automaker, General Motors recently announced a GM ignition key replacement program for many of its popular pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The GM ignition key replacement program is designed to replace ignition keys for the 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks, as well as for the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs.

Engine Shutoffs Force GM Ignition Key Replacement

The GM ignition key replacement announcement came as a result of reports of engine shutoffs when drivers jostle the ignition key with the gearshift lever. A bulletin announcing the GM ignition key replacement stated that the gearshift lever can make contact with the head of the ignition key. The contact occurs if the tilt steering column is in the fully upright position and the driver shifts gears and applies the brakes. The contact could rotate the ignition key in the switch assembly, causing the engine to shut off.

GM Ignition Key Replacement “Not A Recall”

The company was quick to announce that the GM ignition key replacement program was not a safety recall. Instead, the company issued a technical service bulletin to dealerships in November. The bulletin advised dealers to offer a GM ignition key replacement for drivers who complained about the issue. The company decided not to issue a formal safety recall, as the problem only occurred when the driver applied the brake and moved the gearshift lever. An email from a GM spokesperson called the problem “a shifting issue…not a running vehicle issue.”

GM Ignition Key Replacement vs. Ignition Switch Recall

The nature of the problem that spurred the GM ignition key replacement has prompted comparisons to the company’s massive ignition switch recall earlier this year. The number of vehicles affected by the GM ignition key replacement bulletin has not yet been estimated, but that number will likely be hundreds of times smaller than the 2.6 million vehicles affected by the ignition switch recall. No reports of injuries or death from the current ignition key problem have been released, while GM has already paid out millions of dollars to the victims of the ignition switch problem, including more than 35 wrongful death claims.

Source: USA Today

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