Tag Archive | "ignition switch"

GM Caps Week With Three New Recalls


General Motors Co. capped the week by issuing three new recalls covering almost 60,575 vehicles in North America — the biggest for an ignition switch issue on some Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet Caprice police patrol vehicles, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The auto maker has now issued six separate recalls over the past three days and stopped shipping or selling its 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks. The recalls had been submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month but notices didn’t post until Saturday.

A total of 46,873 model year 2008 through 2009 Pontiac G8 and 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice police patrol vehicles sedans are included in the first recalls. The ignition switch may slip from the “run” to “accessory” position if the driver’s knee interacts with the ignition key. GM’s Australian unit—known as Holden—discovered the condition during a review of unintended key rotation reports in recalled models in North America.

The Holden unit is developing a replacement fixed-blade key. GM is aware of one crash, no injuries and no fatalities in these vehicles.

The company is also recalling 10,005 model year 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V and 2006-2007 Cadillac STS-V sedans in the U.S. On certain vehicles, the fuel pump module electrical terminal may overheat, causing melting of the flange material. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to the condition.

Rounding out the group, 304 model year 2014 Chevrolet Sonics were recalled in the over concern a loose electrical connection in the steering column may affect driver air bag performance. If the condition is present and the air bag lamp is illuminated, it may result in the driver frontal air bag deploying only as a single-stage air bag in crashes of a certain severity. GM isn’t aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this issue.

GM has now issued 74 recalls covering almost 30 million vehicles.

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Chrysler Recalls 350,000 Vehicles on Ignition Switch Issues


Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Fiat SpA, said it will recall about 350,000 vehicles from the 2008 model year because of a condition that may cause the ignition key to get stuck or inadvertently move, reported Reuters.

In some cases, the ignition switch could upon startup not stop at the “on” position and instead go to “accessory” or “off” positions, which could kill the engine and keep the front air bags from working, the company said.

A more likely occurrence in the affected vehicles, Chrysler said, is that the ignition key may not fully return to the “on” position from “start,” which could keep the windshield wipers and defroster from working. Air bags will continue to work if this situation occurs, the company said.

Chrysler said it knows of no injuries or deaths related to the issue in the recalled vehicles, and knows of one reported “minor” crash.

Affected vehicles are the 2008 model year Dodge Charger and Magnum, Chrysler 300 and Jeep’s Grand Cherokee and Commander.

The recall affects about 292,000 vehicles in the United States, 19,000 in Canada, 5,000 in Mexico and 33,300 outside North America.

It is similar to a previous recall of about 890,000 vehicles produced from January 2007 to June 2010 in which the ignition switch could slip from the “run” position to “accessory” position while driving. This shuts the engine and disables the air bags. No injuries were related to this recall, Chrysler said.

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Deaths From Faulty Switch in G.M. Cars Edge Higher


The death toll from accidents involving General Motors cars with a defective ignition switch has edged up again, reported The New York Times. In a weekly update of claims filed to the victim compensation program run by the compensation expert Kenneth R. Feinberg, the program disclosed that 21 death claims had been deemed eligible for payment. That is two more than Mr. Feinberg found eligible a week ago and significantly more than the 13 deaths the company had estimated for months.

G.M. has given Mr. Feinberg sole discretion to determine the number of eligible claims for deaths and injuries associated with the faulty switch, which can cause power to cut out in a moving car, disabling air bags, power steering and power brakes.

G.M. recalled 2.6 million cars with the switch this year, more than a decade after engineers inside the company first spotted a problem. The latest numbers show a total of 16 eligible injury claims, including four in the most serious category of injury — those resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns.

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Feinberg: 19 Deaths Linked to GM’s Deadly Ignition Switch Recall So Far


DETROIT (AP) — The death toll tied to faulty ignition switches in General Motors small cars has risen to 19, according to a compensation expert hired by the company. The number is likely to go higher, reported Michigan Live.

Kenneth Feinberg said Monday that he has determined that 19 wrongful death claims are eligible for payments from GM. General Motors’ estimate of deaths has stood at 13 for months, although the automaker acknowledged the possibility of a higher count.

Feinberg received 125 death claims due to the faulty switches in older-model small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt. The rest remain under review or require further documentation, he said in a report issued Monday.

“The public report is simply reporting on those eligible to date,” Feinberg spokeswoman Camille Biros said in an email. “There will certainly be others.”

GM has admitted knowing about the ignition switch problem for more than a decade. Yet it didn’t begin recalling the switches in 2.6 million small cars until earlier this year. The automaker hired Feinberg to compensate victims of crashes caused by the switches, and Feinberg has said GM has not limited the total amount he can pay. Some lawmakers have estimated the death toll is close to 100.

Biros, citing confidentiality agreements, said Feinberg will not identify any of those eligible for payments, nor will he say if the 19 deemed eligible so far include the 13 deaths that GM has documented. GM has not identified the 13 victims. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has not tallied the total number of deaths.

Biros said no claims have been rejected yet, although Feinberg is in the process of turning down a few because they don’t meet the requirements for compensation. Feinberg will issue reports each Monday on how many claims have been granted, she said.

Feinberg also has received 320 claims for compensation due to injuries. Of those, 12 have been deemed eligible for payments so far.

Of the injury claims, 58 were in the most serious category, seeking compensation for injuries resulting in loss of use of limbs, amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burns, the Feinberg statement said. Another 262 claims are for less-serious injuries that required hospital stays or outpatient medical treatment within 48 hours of the crash.

The deadline for filing a claim is Dec. 31. Feinberg will follow formulas to determine how much people will get, and they can demonstrate circumstances to him that would bring more money. Claimants can wait until he comes up with an amount before deciding whether to sue GM or take the money.

GM has estimated the cost of compensating victims at $400 million, but says it could rise to $600 million.

The faulty ignition switches can slip out of the “run” position into “accessory” or “off,” cutting off power to the engine. That can knock out power steering or brakes and disable the air bags if there’s a crash.

The ignition switch problem triggered a companywide safety review that has resulted in 29 million GM vehicles being recalled through August.

Despite persistent bad publicity for much of the year, GM’s sales haven’t been significantly harmed by the spate of recalls. GM’s U.S. sales are up 2.8 percent through August. U.S. auto sales overall have risen 5.1 percent during the same time.

GM dealers have been able to convert customers who come in for recall repairs into new-car buyers when they see renovated dealerships and the company’s new vehicles, GM North American President Alan Batey said Monday in an interview. Many customers are first-time GM buyers, having bought used cars in the past, he said.

General Motors shares rose 43 cents to $33.70 per share in afternoon trading.

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GM Ignition Switch Compensation Program Receives More Than 300 Claims, Including 107 Death-Related


The General Motors Co. ignition switch compensation program has received 309 claims through Monday, including 107 related to fatal accidents, reported Michigan Live.

Camille S. Biros, of Feinberg Rozen LLP, which is overseeing the program for the Detroit-based automaker, said payments to eligible victims and their families are expected to be finalized by the end of September. She said the number of claims filed has no correlation to the amount of individuals expected to be paid through the program, which could cost GM hundreds of millions of dollars.

The voluntary compensation program was announced by GM and renowned compensation attorney Kenneth Feinberg in late-June. There is no financial cap on the program and everyone that meets stringent guidelines set by Feinberg are eligible for the program.

Feinberg Rozen started accepting claims Aug. 1. It will continue accepting claims through Dec. 31.

GM has linked the faulty ignition switches to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes, but others, including victims’ family members and lawyers, say the death toll is closer to 100. GM has said its numbers could increase based on Feinberg’s findings because it only included those involved in front-end collisions.

Feinberg is best known for overseeing millions of dollars in compensation in high-profile tragedies, including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Virginia Tech school shooting, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Boston Marathon bombing.

The GM program, according to Feinberg, will follow the same methodology as some of his past compensation plans.

For families of victims and those who have suffered serious physical injuries as a result of faulty ignition switches, Feinberg will use the same formula as he did for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It includes payments based on a victim’s age, earnings potential and severity of injuries. He referred to the process as “Track A.” In addition, GM will pay at least $1 million for all deaths and $300,000 to any surviving spouse and dependents.

Feinberg retains complete and sole discretion over all compensation awards to eligible victims, including eligibility to participate in the program and the amounts awarded. By agreement, GM cannot reject the administrator’s final determinations as to eligibility and amount of compensation.

Vehicles with the faulty ignition switches can cause the key to move out of the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” positions, leading to a loss of power. If the key turns to one of those positions, the front air bags may not work if there’s a crash.

The 2.6 million vehicles, including 2.2 million in the U.S., affected by the ignition switch recall include 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2007-2010 Saturn Skys, 2005-2011 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstices, and 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 models.

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GM Ignition-Switch Death Claims Rise to 100


Survivors have filed about 100 claims for loved ones killed in one of 2.6 million recalled General Motors cars, according to a spokeswoman for Ken Feinberg, administrator of the automaker’s compensation fund, reported Detroit Free Press.

As of Friday, claims also were filed by 184 people who were injured in one of the cars, which GM recalled beginning last February to replace defective ignition switches, Feinberg spokeswoman Amy Weiss said in an e-mail.

Each claimant must present evidence to establish that the defective ignition switch was the primary cause of the fatality or injury.

Feinberg will determine which claims will be compensated. Claims can be filed through the end of the year.

GM has publicly acknowledged 13 deaths connected to the defect, which can cause ignition switches in up to 2.6 million small cars to turn off when jostled, cutting off power to engines, air bags and other features.

The faulty switches were installed in Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions, Pontiac G5s, Chevrolet HHRs, Pontiac Solstices and Saturn Skys, mostly from the 2003-07 model years.

GM’s decision not to recall the cars until early this year despite evidence that some employees knew of the problem more than a decade earlier, triggered numerous lawsuits and investigations, including a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department.

The compensation fund is unlimited, but GM has estimated that it will cost $400 million-$600 million to settle all eligible claims. That doesn’t include potential payments to victims who choose to sue GM instead of accepting settlements. It doesn’t include any potential government fines.

Feinberg has spelled out extensive criteria for eligibility at GMIgnitionCompensation.com. If he determines that the defect was the “substantial cause” of the accident, he will use actuarial tables and average medical cost data to calculate the size of a payout. Families of people who died will get at least $1 million.

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