Car seat manufacturer Graco isn’t the only company dealing with a travel-related product recall this week; automaker General Motors has issued a recall of nearly 780,000 compact cars over safety concerns.
The New York Times reports that GM has recalled the 2007 Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalts manufactured between 2005 – 2007 for faulty ignition switches. According to the Times, “a heavy key ring or a ‘jarring event’ such as running off the road” could cause these GM models to shut off, potentially preventing the airbags from properly deploying on impact. According to Bloomberg, six deaths have been reported related to the issue, although GM spokesman Alan Adler also told Bloomberg that there were other details in the fatalities. The fatal crashes occurred at high speeds and failure to wear seat belts and alcohol use also were factors in some of the crashes.
As far as GM is aware, 17 other front impact crashes resulting in non-fatal injuries occurred in which air bags didn’t deploy.
As part of the recall announcement given to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM advised drivers that “until this correction is performed, customers should remove non-essential items from their key ring.”
GM is currently in the process of contacting Cobalt and G5 owners of the given model years. Per the details of the announcement, dealers are to replace the ignition switch in said vehicles and GM will provide reimbursement to owners for repairs completed on or before ten days after the owner mailing is completed.
The vehicle recall pertains to nearly 620,000 vehicles in the United States and upwards of 150,000 in Canada, in addition to approximately 61,000 in Mexico.
Earlier in the year, GM recalled certain 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks related to potential fire safety issues. As the Wall Street Journal reported, around 370,000 with 4.3-liter and 5.3-liter engines were recalled in January for software reprogramming to prevent overheating of exhaust components from causing engine compartment fires. Vehicles with 6.2 liter engines were not subject to the same recall. GM confirmed eight fires associated with the problem but reported that no injuries were sustained as a result.
While this may seem like a lot of recalls for GM in a short period of time, perusing the NHTSA’s recall database reveals that automotive recalls aren’t all that uncommon. In less than two weeks of the month of February, five separate automakers have issued recalls, including Chrysler, Winnebago, Aston Martin and EverGreen recreational vehicles.