If you need your GM car serviced, you might want to think about taking it to an independent mechanic, or at least take a really long, good book to read in the waiting room. The auto giant has announced that its dealer network in the United States has received the first wave of non-defective ignition switches. Without the replacement switches, 2.2 million cars in the country run the risk of the engine stalling out while the car is traveling down the road, which coincidentally locks the steering, turns off the airbags, and induces feverish prayers from drivers and passengers alike. All joking aside, the now-notorious GM recall has come about after at least 12 people have died when their engine stalled.
In an attempt to cover up the problem, GM used the same part number on a replacement switch that did not have the original defect, meaning that now the automaker has to go through and change the switches on every single Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, and Saturn Ion still operating.
Not only will the flood of vehicles in line for new ignition switches jam up dealer service departments, the problem is also chewing up dealers’ loaner cars. Many dealers have been giving loaner vehicles and even rental cars to owners of the recalled cars, providing free towing to the dealership, and even providing a discount on a new car that hopefully is not defective all in an effort to extend some goodwill to the public. Dealers are also extending out the service department hours to deal with the influx of work.