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Only 7 Percent of Ignition Switch Recall Vehicles Repaired

Tina Robinson2 years ago

Four months have elapsed since General Motors issued a recall for older compact vehicles with defective ignition switches. According to ABC News, only 7 percent of the 2.6 million vehicles have been repaired so far.

About the Ignition Switch Repairs

GM says that as of Thursday last week, nearly 177,000 cars have been repaired and about 423,000 repair kits have been shipped worldwide.

Repairs have been slowed as parts maker Delphi Corp. increases production capabilities. In early April, the manufacturer only had one line running. That capability was eventually increased to two; Delphi hopes to have a third line running by the end of July or start of August. Overall, GM has said it hopes to have all the parts necessary to repair every vehicle by October.

Adding to the slow repair time is an ignition lock cylinder that has to be manufactured separately. GM must wait for both parts before shipping out the pieces as a repair kit.

In response to customer concerns about safety, GM has provided free loaner cars to owners who request it. About 67,000 loaners have been issued to owners.

About the GM Ignition Recall

The recalled vehicles, including the Saturn Ion, Chevy Cobalt, and Pontiac G5, have faulty ignition switches that can be pushed out of the “run” position by rough terrain, drivers’ knees, and even from extra weight put on the GM key. The sudden loss of power can cause airbag failure, steering defects, and brake failure. GM has linked the defect to 13 deaths and 54 crashes, although federal regulators expect that number to grow.

Concerns about the recall were raised after it was learned that GM employees knew about the defect for over a decade but failed to take action. The delay resulted in two congressional probes, criminal investigations, and numerous lawsuits. In a settlement with the U.S. Department of Transportation, GM agreed to pay the maximum fine of $35 million as well as submit to extensive oversight from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for at least a year.

Earlier this month, the results of a three-month-long internal inquiry were released. The report, compiled by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas, concluded that engineers failed to understand the safety implications of the engine stalls and thus categorized it as an issue of customer convenience rather than safety. GM fired 15 employees and provided 5 others with disciplinary action in the wake of the Valukas report.

GM Compensation Fund

GM has also established a compensation fund for families whose loved ones were killed or seriously injured in accidents involving the recall. Attorney Ken Feinberg was hired by the automaker in April to develop guidelines for a GM fund. Those recommendations are expected by the end of this month; GM will begin accepting claims as soon as Aug. 1.

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured. 

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