MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In the service bays of Mauer Chevrolet, auto mechanics are busy swapping out the small parts that caused a huge problem.
“We get a half dozen to a dozen every day,” operations director, Norm Kordell, said.
General Motors announced a nation-wide recall of 2.59 million vehicles after it was discovered that the ignition switch assembly was tied to fatal accidents involving certain GM vehicles.
Safety engineers determined that the faulty switches could disengage from the run position and shut an engine off unexpectedly.
When that happens while driving on the highway, it has caused drivers to lose control of the vehicle. Added to the danger is the malfunction of air bags, which failed to deploy.
So, GM dealerships like Mauer are doing the fix as fast as parts come in.
And that’s not so easy, since the massive recall is swamping the part supplier, Delphi, with orders. Because all the parts are different, depending on the make, model and year of the vehicle, Delphi has had to ramp up production by taking some machines out of storage.
“When the parts come in we call the customer and schedule the repairs be made. It’s taking an hour to two hours per vehicle,” Kordell said.
Already, this one lone dealership has completed, or will perform, the work for more than one-thousand customers. Other GM dealership express handling similar volumes of customers.
General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, testified before Congress about the mistakes made years ago when the defective part was first revealed. In response to both criticism and lawsuits, Barra accepted blame on behalf of the company and announced a nearly half-billion dollar victim’s compensation fund.
“I got my Cobalt in 2012 after I graduated college,” GM car owner, Jennifer Palmer, said.
She’s among the many GM customers who have received recall notices and are anxious to get the repair work performed. But the problem is many are learning scheduling recall repairs is taking longer than they would like.
The massive recall is causing a parts shortage – meaning Jennifer Palmer’s car won’t get fixed for a month or two. So in the meantime, she’ll avoid driving her two-year-old daughter around in the car and will plan another way to work.
“I’m going to try not driving this vehicle as much as possible and my husband and I can car pool to work. So we’ll take our other vehicle,” Palmer said.
“We anticipate it’s going to take a few more months to get them all done,” Kordell said.
The vehicles affected by GM’s safety recall are: 2003-07 Saturn Ion, 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-10 Pontiac Solstice, 2007-10 Pontiac G5, 2007-10 Saturn Sky, 2006-11 Chevrolet HHR
More information is available on the company’s recall website: www.GMIgnitionupdate.com