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GM Ignition Switch Defect Still Affects 1M Cars

A recent report showed that the GM ignition switch defect still affects just under 1 million cars on the road. The automaker reported that the company has repaired or replaced the parts that led to the GM ignition switch defect in 1.36 million cars. The company also estimated that 2.36 million vehicles with the defect are still on the road, a steep drop from the previous estimate of 2.6 million earlier this year.

Engineers Hid GM Ignition Switch Defect For 10 Years

An internal investigation showed that engineers covered up the GM ignition switch defect for nearly a decade. Reports showed that engineers knew about the GM ignition switch defect, but failed to identify the problem to their supervisors. The defect would cause the ignition switch to move from the “ON” to the “ACC” position, which would cause the vehicle to lose power if the ignition switch assembly were jostled or weighed down by a heavy key chain. The power loss would prevent drivers from using the power steering and power brake systems and would prevent the airbags from deploying in a collision.

GM Ignition Switch Defect Estimates Drop

The company lowered its estimates of vehicles affected by the GM ignition switch defect due largely to the age of the vehicles listed. Most of the vehicles on the GM ignition switch defect list were manufactured at least ten years ago. The company believes that many of those vehicles are currently out of service and would not be submitted for repairs under the recall. Alan Adler, a GM spokesperson, wrote an email to the news media which stated that the difference “is made up for by scrapped vehicles or vehicles no longer traceable by registration.”

GM Ignition Switch Defect Tied to 35 Deaths

The automaker issued a massive recall for the GM ignition switch defect after reports of fatal accidents tied to the flaw surfaced earlier this year. The company has set up a claims payment fund for victims of accidents related to the GM ignition switch defect. The fund has paid out at least 35 death claims, with each claim estimated to be at least $1 million, as well as more than 30 severe injury claims. The automaker has reportedly set aside $400 million to pay out such claims, but that number may rise to as much as $600 million after all claims have been processed.

Company Seeks Perfect Response Rate on GM Ignition Switch Defect Recall

Since the story about the GM ignition switch defect broke in February, executives with the troubled automaker have stated that they are seeking a 100 percent response rate from vehicle owners. A report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration showed that typical recall response rates run around 75 percent, with a much lower response rate for older vehicles. The automaker is seeking to defy that trend by reaching out through web sites and social media to make vehicle owners aware of the GM ignition switch defect and show them how to get the repairs they need.

Source: Detroit News

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