Last week we wrote about General Motors’ recall of more than 2 million cars in the U.S., and its questionable “key ring” solution for customers awaiting repairs. As it turns out, GM’s safety issues don’t stop there.
GM announced a new recall in addition to the first one. Another 1.3 million U.S. cars are affected, meaning up to 3.5 million GM customers have been driving unsafe cars in the United States alone. That’s not a great track record.
To be clear, the two recalls relate to totally different problems. The earlier recall, announced at the beginning of 2014, was due to faulty ignition switches installed in many GM cars from the past decade. The switches were “loose,” and under the right conditions could wiggle over from on to off—even while the car was moving. When that happens, drivers may lose control and the likelihood of a crash increases.
The new recall is because of a different, though still dangerous problem: faulty power steering. The affected vehicles could lose power steering while under way. That doesn’t necessarily mean the driver will lose control, but it does suddenly make steering much harder, especially at certain speeds.
Although the two recalls are separate, some models are affected by both problems.
Anytime a manufacturer produces a dangerous product it raises questions. However, GM’s recent history is starting to demonstrate what appears to be an almost habitual disregard for the safety of their customers. The first of the two recalls was long overdue, not being announced until 10 years after GM officials first learned of the potentially deadly problem. In that time, 13 people were killed in accidents linked to the faulty ignition.
There’s no evidence that GM also knew about the power-steering problems, but the question is a fair one. GM is currently facing tough questions from the government and the media, as well as victims of the faulty cars. Is it coincidence that they discover and proactively report another safety flaw just as they come under intense outside scrutiny?
It will be months before all of the affected cars are repaired, and likely much longer before investigators can give us clear answers. However, for owners of the affected cars it’s important to act quickly. If your car is subject to either of the GM recalls, then driving it before it’s repaired may be unsafe. That’s not a risk that you or your family should have to take.
At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene we’re dedicated to helping consumers. Call us for a free strategy session about your General Motors vehicle today.