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Spare Parts Market a New Risk for GM Recall

Tina Robinson2 years ago

General Motors might be facing a new risk in its ignition switch recall as new reports reveal that defective switches might still circulate in the spare parts market.

Details of the New Spare Parts Risk

An investigation by Reuters has shown that it is still possible to purchase GM brand switches with the same product number as the ones involved in the GM recall of 1.6 million vehicles issued in February. Without taking the switches apart or checking the manufacturing history, it is almost impossible to tell if these switches are defective.

Back in 2007, the defective switches were redesigned, but in a move that defied industry standards, the part number was never changed. As a result, there is no way to tell the new, safe switches from the older, defective ones just by looking at it. Furthermore, independent spare parts makers often reverse-engineer parts. If a defective switch were used to do so, it would create even more faulty switches in circulation.

Although there have been no known cases of defective switches being installed in vehicles recently, mechanics confirmed that parts with the same product number as the faulty switches were still available in their ordering system. A search online conducted by Reuters also turned up the parts available for sale for approximately $30.

The NHTSA and GM Investigate

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that they are investigating the new risk. One complaint filed by a consumer online worries that repairs made in 2009 to his 2008 vehicle could have been completed with the defective switch. A spokesman for GM told Reuters that the automaker was in the process of investigating the problem.

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