GM Recall Causes Another Controversy

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GM Recall Controversy Reignites

Back in February 2014, GM announced a worldwide recall of 1.62 million vehicles. Of the 1.62 million recalled, 1.37 million of those vehicles we in the U.S. Recent reports state that nearly 1.96 million cars total were involved in the ignition switch recall, and of those roughly 54% have been repaired. GM agreed to pay a record-setting $35 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May for the delay of the recall, as well as agreeing to three years of intense monitoring by NHTSA. However, what GM failed to mention was that in December 2013—two months before the announcement of the recall—they had ordered 500,000 ignition switch replacements, addressing the issues as an “urgent field action.”

List of Cars Recalled by GM:

  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2005-2007 Pontiac G5 and Pursuit,
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007 Pontiac Sky
  • 2007 Opel/Vauxhall GT
  • 2007 Daewoo G2X.

Gift Card Program Reward for Faulty Ignition Switch Repair

To add fuel to the controversy over the recall delay of the faulty ignition switches, GM also offered $25 gift cards to car owners of faulty ignition switches as an incentive to fix them. As of late-October, only half have been reported to fix their cars. Ideally, this was to work to GM’s advantage in many ways, including:

  • It encourages people to have a very important safety defect fixed
  • It may boost GM’s repair rate
  • It’s a great PR move
  • It could save GM money

Those who have yet to fix their cars will receive a brochure on the gift card program. How the program works is that those who receive the brochure have until December 1, 2014 to bring your car in for repair at a GM dealership. There, you will receive a special code the you redeem online, and select one of seven participating companies where you can claim your gift card. These companies include Amazon, AMC, Applebee’s, Bass Pro Shops, Red Robin, Starbucks, and Walmart. The car will be mailed between two and four weeks.

So What’s Next for GM?

According to sources, there was a release of emails between GM and it’s manufacturer that reported the faulty ignition switch problem and requesting hundreds of thousands of replacement parts. The fact that GM was aware of the safety defect of its’ vehicles and failed to report them “within five days” to regulators–according to NHTSA law that requires carmakers to do so.

“It goes back to Watergate, where the cover-up becomes worse than the problem. Rule one of business is that you don’t do that. But we have to understand that mistakes occur and problems happen,” David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“With all that has been happening, it has been reported that, “The e-mails were part of millions of documents that GM and Delphi have turned over to lawyers for plaintiffs suing the automaker. The U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating the ignition switch recalls also has the documents,” Robert Hilliard, an attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas—who is suing the automaker on behalf of consumers who own the GM models with the faulty ignition switch.

The fate of what is to happen next in the GM case has not yet been released. However, the big question of moral reasoning behind the delay in the faulty ignition recall is still being presented.