General Motors is in hot water over the timeliness of a recall of vehicles with faulty ignition switches, and new information points to the fact that the brand had early warning signs in 2001.
The Saturn Ion, a vehicle that was not initially included in the recall but was later added, exhibited the ignition switch flaw as early as 2001 according to GM. At the time, the Ion was still in the pre-production phase.
A report from GM engineers says that the Ion’s ignition switch suffered from “low detent plunger force,” allowing it to easily switch to the off position if bumped. A change in the design of the ignition switch for the Ion supposedly solved the problem.
No sign of issues surfaced after this until 2003, when a service technician noted that the additional weight of keys on a key ring had caused an Ion to stall.
This issue has now been linked to 12 deaths, as once the ignition switch is turned to “off,” the airbags on the car also cease to function. GM announced the recall just last month, and is now being investigated on whether or not the company followed the proper steps to ensure public safety.
[Source: Automotive News]
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