Automakers are known to make occasional recalls on their vehicles. Yet, the current recall volume for General Motors is disturbing. The vehicles GM is recalling result from an error in which theignition can switch to off while the car is running, disabling the power steering and air bags. GM admitted that its engineers knew about the problem as early as 2004,yeta recall was just issued for these carsin February of 2014.
The recall now totalsmore than 29 million cars in the first part of this year — the largest number of recalls in history by an auto manufacturer in any given year — accounting for more cars thanGM has sold from 2007 to 2013.The latest series of recallsdates back to 1997 andincludes 8.4 million vehicles recalledfor “unintended movement” of the switch due to a bump in the road, a bump from a knee, or other items attached to the keychain.
It appears that General Motors does not understand the severity of its recall crisis. Instead of fully replacing the ignition switches, it’s taking baby steps to remedy the problem. Its first course of action is redesigning the car keys, perhaps because GM maintains that there is no conclusive evidence that proves that the defect condition caused certainaccidents for which it’s said it is aware of.The problem is more severe than GM would like to admit. A June 2014 Reuters investigation found that at least 74 people died in GM cars as a result of accidents that appear to involve defective ignition switches.
So far GM has said it will spend $2.5 billion to fix safety problems. This amount is separate and apart from the compensation fund for victims of crashes related to the recall.The number of victims seeking compensationand the number of fatalities caused by the faulty ignition switch will not be known until claims are processed.