General Motors Co. (GM) issued a second recall today for Chevy Cobalts, Saturn Ions, and similar brand of vehicles. The problem this time? The ignition-lock cylinder has proven defective, and what with their last ignition problem recently linked to deaths across the nation, GM is attempting to deal with the issue early.
Complaints have been rolling into GM by the hundreds about keys falling out of the ignition cylinder while the engine is still running. Many of the GM cars that are suffering from this flaw are also cars that were recalled due to faulty ignition switches. Those recalls were made because it only took a heavy key ring, heavy with, say, the weight of your fancy new GM car key, to turn off the engine at random moments, disengaging the airbags and power steering.
While the two issues seem related, and therefore potentially solved by replacing the same parts, this is not the case. The Detroit News clarified for all of us who were wondering,
“The ignition-lock cylinder is a separate component of the overall ignition switch assembly and would not be remedied by the replacement parts that are to begin arriving at dealers Friday.”
So that fancy kit you just ordered to fix your new, recently-recalled GM Pontiac will only fix one of the problems. However, as soon as GM gets the new ignition-cylinder parts, they hope to mail out the fix-it kits together, as one set.
While GM has been praised for getting out ahead of the problem, suspicions arise, asking the question on many people’s mind, how long have they known about the ignition cylinders? With the faulty ignition-switches, GM admitted that they had known about that flaw for years, a decade in fact, but hadn’t done anything about it. So what about the cylinder? People are questioning whether or not this is a new problem, or one that GM has known about since the early 2000’s.
What can be done in the mean time while you are waiting for GM replacement parts and just can’t live without your car for a couple weeks? Well, GM has some guidelines for that too. They advise against driving with anything but your car key on your keychain, and make sure you are in park before you turn your car off. These may seem trivial, but if this recall turns out to be anything like the last one, these little trivial tasks may end up saving your life, or a limb.