General Motors today announced a truly massive recall covering some 8.4 million vehicles in North America. Most significantly, 8.2 million examples of the affected vehicles are being called back due to "unintended ignition key rotation," though GM spokesperson Alan Adler tells Autoblog that this issue is not like the infamous Chevy Cobalt ignition switch fiasco.
For the sake of perspective, translated to US population, this total recall figure would equal a car for each resident of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming. Combined. Here's how it all breaks down:
7,610,862 vehicles in North America being recalled for unintended ignition key rotation. 6,805,679 are in the United States.
- 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
- 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
- 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
- 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
A second group of vehicles* are being recalled for a slightly different ignition key rotation issue (more details below). 616,179 of these vehicles are in North America, with 554,328 found in the United States.
- 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
- 2013-2014 Cadillac CTS
Additionally 20,134 North American vehicles are being recalled because "insulation on the engine block heater power cord (if equipped) may become damaged during very cold conditions." 2,990 of these vehicles are in the United States.
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2012-2014 Chevrolet Sonic
- 2013-2014 Chevrolet Trax
- 2013-2014 Buick Encore
- 2013-2014 Buick Verano
117 vehicles in North America "may not have had a 'Superhold' joint fastener torqued to specification at the assembly plant." 106 of these vehicles are in the US.
- 2014 Chevrolet Camaro
- 2014 Chevrolet Impala
- 2014 Buick Regal
- 2014 Cadillac XTS
12,002 vehicles in North America are being recalled because "an overload in the feed may cause the underhood fusible link to melt due to electrical overload, resulting in potential smoke or flames that could damage the electrical center cover and/or the nearby wiring harness conduit." 9,371 of the affected vehicles are in the US.
- 2007-2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD (with auxiliary battery)
- 2007-2011 GMC Sierra HD (with auxiliary battery)
Finally, 188,705 SUVs in North America are being recalled due to "a possible electrical short in the driver's door module that could disable the power door lock and window switches and, in rare cases, overheat the module." Here, 181,984 of these vehicles are in the US.
- 2005-2007 Buick Ranier
- 2005-2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
- 2005-2007 GMC Envoy
- 2005-2007 Isuzu Ascender
- 2005-2007 Saab 9-7X
- 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT
- 2006 GMC Envoy XL
The Cadillac models in the second grouping* have been found to be subject to unintended key rotation because of accidental bumping of one's key fobs (a condition similar to the June 13 Camaro recall), whereas the other, larger group of older vehicles is not subject to bumping. In either case, this is not like the infamous Chevy Cobalt ignition switch issue - the switch in these vehicles meet GM specifications, the company says the problem is with the key design itself.
The solution won't be a new ignition switch at all, it will be sending additional detachable key rings to owners (allowing drivers to disconnect their car key from the rest of their key chain to reduce strain on the system) and/or inserts designed to fit within the ignition key head itself to alter the keyring attachment loop from a slot to a hole (because the slot can cause the weight of the keychain to hang asymmetrically, thereby increasing the amount of torque on the key and as a result, the switch.
Company spokesperson Alan Adler, tells Autoblog that GM "changed the [key] design in late December of 2010," so vehicles built after that time are not affected by the issue.
GM is aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities related to these issues. "The fatal crashes occurred in older model fullsize sedans being recalled for inadvertent ignition key rotation. There is no conclusive evidence that the defect condition caused those crashes," GM said in a press release. Scroll down to read the automaker's full statement.
Continue reading GM recalling 8.4M cars, 8.2M related to ignition problems