DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors is adding 824,000 small cars to its ongoing recall tied to defective ignition switches.
The company will add vehicles from the 2008-2011 model years to a recall that initially covered cars only through the 2007 model year.
The Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky are all involved in the recall.
GM says around 5,000 of the faulty switches were used for repairs on 2008-2011 model year cars. GM says it's expanding the recall to make sure it finds all the switches.
GM says it's not aware of any fatalities connected to the defect in the 2008-2011 models.
The ignition switches can move out of the "run" position and cause the engine to stall. The defect is linked to 12 deaths.
GENERAL MOTORS NEWS RELEASE:
DETROIT – General Motors today said it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the U.S. since faulty switches may have been used to repair the vehicles.
The parts are at the center of the company’s recently announced ignition switch recall, which originally extended through the 2007 model year. About 95,000 faulty switches were sold to dealers and aftermarket wholesalers. Of those, about 90,000 were used to repair older vehicles that were repaired before they were recalled in February.
Because it is not feasible to track down all the parts, the company is taking the extraordinary step of recalling 824,000 more vehicles in the U.S. to ensure that every car has a current ignition switch. GM is unaware of any reports of fatalities with this group of vehicles where a frontal impact occurred, the front air bags did not deploy and the ignition is in the “accessory” or “off” position.
As with the earlier recalls, if the torque performance is not to GM specification, the ignition switch may unintentionally move from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” positions, leading to a loss of power. The risk may be increased if the key ring is carrying added weight or if the vehicle goes off road or experiences some jarring event. The timing of the key movement out of the “run” position relative to when the sensing algorithm of a crash may result in the air bags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes.
Until the recall has been performed, customers are urged to remove all items, including the key fob, from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key.
“We are taking no chances with safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn’t practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years.
“We are going to provide our customers with the peace of mind they deserve and expect by getting the new switches into all the vehicles,” Barra said.
GM records indicate the service parts may have been used for ignition repairs in:
2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts
2008-2011 Chevrolet HHRs
2008-2010 Pontiac Solstice
2008-2010 Pontiac G5 and
2008-2010 Saturn Sky
Owners who may have had a suspect part installed will receive a letter the week of April 21. GM dealers will replace their ignition switch free of charge as parts become available. Customers who paid to have their ignition switches replaced will be eligible for reimbursement.
Dealers, distributors and other parts customers will be told about the recall beginning March 31.
Information on the ignition switch recall is available www.gmignitionupdate.com.