GM Recall Exclusions of Vehicles With Defective Ignition SwitchesJuly 18, 2014
Just weeks after General Motors announced a recall of vehicles with faulty ignition switches, the company also stated that some vehicles with the same issue would fall under GM recall exclusions and not be subject to factory recall. The Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, known as “crossover” vehicles, manufactured from 2007 to 2014, were found to have the defective ignition switch design. The company issued a recall notice on the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac CTS vehicles with the same ignition switch design.
GM Recall Exclusions and Ignition Switches
The GM recall exclusions were announced in light of the series of recalls on GM vehicles with faulty ignition switches. Studies by government agencies and public safety groups found that several GM models dating back to 2003 had a flaw in the ignition system. The flaw could cause the vehicle to lose power and fail to send a signal to deploy the car’s airbags. GM has reported that at least 13 people have died from the failure of the front air bag system tied to the ignition switch failure, but other groups maintain that the number of deaths and injuries attributed to the problem is much higher.
Reasons For GM Recall Exclusions
The ignition switches in vehicles under the GM recall exclusions were reported to react differently under the same conditions as those that were recalled. Alan Adler, a GM corporate spokesman, told reporters that the Enclave and Traverse underwent significant stress tests to determine if their ignition switches would shut off when going over a pothole, when a driver bumps the ignition switch housing or when a heavy keychain was attached to the ignition key.
Concerns Over GM Recall Exclusions
Industry observers have expressed concerns over the list of GM recall exclusions and how they can affect driver safety. Sheryar Durrani, an automotive engineer and former project engineer for the National Highway Transportation and Safety Agency, said that differences in the ignition system design, such as the location of the ignition housing and the shape and size of the keys, could determine which models were recalled and which ones were listed as GM recall exclusions. The main point of concern, according to Durrani, is that GM has yet to clarify “the true root cause of the failure.”
Lumina, Cutlass Among GM Recall Exclusions
Other recalls related to other faulty ignition switch designs also created a list of GM recall exclusions. Ignition switch issues forced the recall of the Chevrolet Impala (2000-2013), the Buick LaCross (2005-2009) and the Chevrolet Malibu (1997-2005). Other vehicles with the same switch design among the GM recall exclusions were the Chevrolet Lumina (2000-2002), the Chevrolet Uplander (2005-2009), the Oldsmobile Cutlass (1997-1999) and the Oldsmobile Achieva (1997 & 1998).
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