General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) announced that the ignition switch defect was reported as far back as 2001, which is three years earlier than the first defect indications. The first car that seemed to have the problem was the Saturn Ion.
General Motors made a filing on Wednesday with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about how it received a report on the “passlock” system for the Saturn Ion ignition switch in 2001 during pre-production development of the vehicle.
The ignition switch’s problem was due to “low detent plunger force.” A change in the design of the ignition switch resolved the problems. General Motors engineers and outside investigators found later on that Delphi’s ignition switches that were used in 1.6 million vehicles between 2003 and 2007 were defective. Delphi started to use a different detent plunger and spring to increase torque in the switch to fix the problem, according to Auto News.
In 2003, a service technician notice that a car stalled while driving. In a previous filing with the NHTSA, the first warning sign happened in 2004 when the Chevrolet Cobalt went on sale. GM told drivers to remove all items from key rings, except for the ignition key until repairs are completed. Even after the repair is made, they should not place anything on the car’s key.
General Motors recalled the U.S. vehicles in two batches — the Cobalt and G5 on February 13th and the rest of them on February 25th. GM also recalled the Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky.
[Source: Auto News]