General Motors’ recall woes expanded Monday as it announced six more recalls — including a new one covering nearly 3.2 million vehicles that could shut off inadvertently if their keys carry extra weight and experience “some jarring event.”
That comes nearly four months after GM announced it would have to replace faulty ignition switches in 2.6 million vehicles — and only days after the maker recalled every Chevrolet Camaro it has built since 2010 because the design of the key could cause the car to shut off if bumped by a driver’s knee.
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As with the Camaro recall, the latest problem is the result of a faulty key design, rather than a defective ignition switch. But the results could be the same: a vehicle suddenly losing power, making it difficult to steer or brake. And the airbag system “may” not deploy, GM cautioned.
The five other problems impact about 166,000 vehicles all together, and involve a variety of issues including faulty automatic transmission shifter cables, power steering hoses and drive shafts.
GM says it is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to the latest inadvertent shut-off problem. That’s on top of the 13 deaths and dozens of crashes already linked to the defective ignition switch problem that led to the February recall.
In that case, the ignition switch itself was the issue, and GM engineers were aware of a potential problem more than a decade ago.
The latest recall is the result of the design of the ignition key itself. While some keys have wide slots that allow a key ring to move around in, the seven vehicles covered by the new announcement had narrow holes for the key ring. It might seem a minor difference but in the event the car was jostled on a rough road, or if a knee banged into the key ring, that design makes it more likely the key will inadvertently turn from the on to the accessory or off positions.
GM plans to simply rework or replace the keys to prevent an inadvertent vehicle shutdown. The models covered by the recall are:
- 2005 to 2009 Buick Lacrosse
- 2006 to 2014 Chevrolet Impala
- 2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville
- 2004 to 2011 Cadillac DTS
- 2006 to 2011 Buick Lucerne
- 2004 to 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS
- 2006 to 2011 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
More from The Detroit Bureau:
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Your Airbag Could Kill You
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First published June 16 2014, 1:19 PM