GM recalls another 3.3 million cars over ignition switch problems

Almost 200,000 Canadian cars are being recalled Monday as part of an expanded General Motors recall that now affects 3.36 million older model vehicles in North America equipped with a problematic ignition switch.

Plans to replace key design so ignition can't switch out of run position

GM has recalled another 3.3 million cars in North America, most with an ignition switch that is vulnerable to moving out of the 'run' position. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

General Motors is recalling an additional 3.36 million older model vehicles in North America because of an ignition switch that can move out of the run position while the car is being driven.

In Canada, 187,972 cars were recalled as part of the latest GM announcement. The expanded recall is GM’s 44th this year, though some vehicles have been recalled for more than one issue. That brings to 20 million the number of cars it has recalled worldwide this year.

The makes and models being recalled:

  • Buick Lacrosse, 2005-09.
  • Chevrolet Impala, 2006-14.
  • Cadillac Deville, 2000–05.
  • Cadillac DTS, 2004–11.
  • Buick Lucerne, 2006–11.
  • Buick Regal LS & GS, 2004–05.
  • Chevy Monte Carlo, 2006–08.

Only one of the models included in the recall is still in production, the Chevrolet Impala, which is sold to daily rental fleets as the Impala Limited.

GM has told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the ignition switch on these vehicles can move out of the “run” position if the key is carrying extra weight and if the driver hits a pothole or railway tracks. That can turn the car off, make it difficult to steer and cause accidents.

It says six deaths and eight crashes are related to the safety issue.

GM said it detected the new fault in its probe of the ignition switches for the Chevrolet Cobalt, which led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles this February. As part of that probe, GM look at all its ignition designs and reported safety incidents.

With the new batch of recalls, GM plans to re-engineer the keys, which have a slot that fits onto the key ring. GM says the switch might not be able to handle extra weight from a key ring on a slotted key and advises drivers to remove any heavy key fobs until they take their car into a dealer. A key with a hole will replace the existing key. 

GM also issued recalls for an additional 165,700 cars for other types of faults, including:

  • 2013-14 Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans, for a faulty shift cable in transmission.
  • 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and 2015 GMC Sierra, for power steering hose clamps.
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS sedans, for a gasket leak.
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes, for door trim that could block side airbags.
  • 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, for faulty floor mats.

GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately $700 million in the second quarter for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This amount includes a previously disclosed $400 million charge for recalls announced May 15 and May 20.

GM CEO Mary Barra is to be called before U.S. Congress Wednesday to again answer for GM’s conduct over recalls, because of concern the company knew of the ignition switch fault for at least 10 years without acting on it.