Could General Motors have prevented a dozen deaths with something that would have cost as little as $1 per vehicle?
That’s the question being asked now that a report has surfaced that the American automaker’s engineers found a way to fix the ignition issue, which caused ignition switches to shut off. The problem has been linked to a dozen deaths and GM is now under scrutiny for the way it handled the issue.
Last month, 1.6-million vehicles were recalled related to the issue and a recent report revealed that the company had found a partial fix for the problem all the way back in 2005.
Nine years ago, GM engineers proposed a plastic insert that could be added to GM keys to make the opening for the key smaller and reduce jostling of the key, which is one of the causes for the vehicles shutting off. A “business decision” was made to not order inserts to be added to all keys, but rather a bulletin was sent to dealerships to apply the fix if owners came in and complained about the issue. Under the program, less than 500 drivers came forward for the insert.
SEE ALSO: GM Expands Ignition Switch Recall
During a recent testimony, GM engineer David Trush went on the record to state that the fix was a “good solution” for a “very small population” affected by the problem. According to the American automaker, the change wasn’t mandated because it was only a partial solution.
The major issue at this point is the fact that GM was well aware of the problem nine years ago, but an official recall wasn’t issued until recently.
Recalled vehicles include model year 2003 through 2007 versions of the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Canada-only Pontiac Pursuit, as well as the Saturn Ion, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models.
[Source: NBC News]
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