By on April 30, 2014

2013-Chevy-Traverse-Low-Angle

Automotive News reports General Motors, already being hammered from all sides from its delayed recall of 2.59 million vehicles affected by a defect in the ignition switch, issued a customer-satisfaction campaign in mid-March of this year for 1.2 million crossovers whose airbags may fail to deploy in a side-impact crash, an issue known to the automaker since 2008. Once the National Highway Traffic Safety learned of the decision, however, GM did an about-face and upgraded the campaign to a full recall. In addition, its Executive Field Action Decision Committee considered a full recall as early as November 2010, opting to issue service bulletins four times between then and 2012 instead, which spokesman Alan Adler claims satisfied the issue thoroughly without the need for increased action.

Bloomberg says GM is tying its executive incentive packages based on earnings, global market share and quality. The plan was originally announced in February as a work-in-progress during a statement about a proposed pay package of $14.4 million with $10 million in long-term compensation for CEO Mary Barra, which will be decided upon during the automaker’s annual stockholders meeting in June. In the current announcement, GM believes that linking executive pay “to the achievement of both short- and long-term goals” will serve as “an important cornerstone of employee engagement.”

As for the switch itself, its time may have finally come as GM considers dropping the ignition key for push-button start throughout the automaker’s entire range, a technology found in 72 percent of all 2014 vehicles sold in the United States. The move would put it in line with consumers who view the button “as a convenience and a luxury feature” according to Edmunds.com senior editor Bill Visnic, adding that the ignition switch “is a very fussy, electro-mechanical part that’s seen [by consumers] as less reliable.” Potential issues surround the push-button start, however, including length of time between action and reaction, as well as drivers remembering to shut the engine down prior to departing the vehicle.

Finally, Automotive News reports most dealers may never see a recalled vehicle enter their service bays, as many affected owners either never receive the recall notice or receive the document, but end up tossing or otherwise forgetting about the recall. Further, even with a recall in the headlines like the one GM is still working through, some owners may not have the inclination to go through with repairs, whether due to time, other priorities or apathy.

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8 Comments on “GM Changes Mind About Airbag Recall, Ignition Switches...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    On the Kappa platform forums there is no one who had problems with the key/ignition with Soltice/Sky. Some of us will not be taking our car to the dealership for this recall.

    • 0 avatar
      ToniCipriani

      I just went in and did mine, didn’t get the letter yet but dealer put me through with my VIN. Had slight issues with key not working with door but it was just a matter of brushing the key down a bit.

      It’s up to you to take it in or not, but if you do get into an accident and they found out you didn’t do the recall, I guess you know the next part. Lawyers are totally waiting for business.

  • avatar
    segfault

    “… issued a customer-satisfaction campaign in mid-March of this year for 1.2 million crossovers whose airbags may fail to deploy in a side-impact crash…”

    How does that even work as a customer satisfaction campaign? Do they wait until someone has a side impact crash, their airbag fails to deploy, and then offer to reprogram the airbag computer so that the airbags will be more likely to deploy next time?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Reading the linked articles helps.

      The wiring harness connection can get increased resistance and the ‘Service Airbag’ light comes on. Over time (after that light comes on) the resistance can get bad enough so as not to trigger the airbag in a crash.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “airbags may fail to deploy in a side-impact crash, an issue known to the automaker since 2008. Once the National Highway Traffic Safety learned of the decision, however, GM did an about-face and upgraded the campaign to a full recall.”

    UT-Oh. But wait this isn’t one of those “old” models which was half-assed fixed by Mr DiGeorgio this was one of the new whiz bang foreign designed ones which was supposed to save the day. GM is in a dark place indeed, I don’t know if they are ever finding their way back now.

    “according to Edmunds.com senior editor Bill Visnic, adding that the ignition switch “is a very fussy, electro-mechanical part that’s seen [by consumers] as less reliable.” ”

    This is one of the most asinine things I’ve read in a long time. How many millions and millions of cars in the last thirty years have used them and how many of those outside of the Deltas have failed?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I wonder if GM left all these dangerous cars on the road because they were waiting to give their partners at the NHTSA a chance to make recalls synonymous with Toyota and Honda. GM having to recall cars for real safety issues would have put a crimp in their various shills’ efforts to equate recalls of 10 year old cars for discolored wire insulators and 7 year old cars for tire wear with poor quality.

  • avatar
    segfault

    I agree that keyless ignition is the way of the future. It’s a great convenience feature.

    Typical GM, they are late to the party on that. They only recently started using switchblade key/remotes, which I think Mercedes started using in the early 1990s (VW and Audi had them by the late 1990s).

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “Typical GM, they are late to the party on that. They only recently started using switchblade key/remotes, which I think Mercedes started using in the early 1990s (VW and Audi had them by the late 1990s).”

      There had been a few foreign-designed GM models that used switchblade keys (Saturn Astra, Pontiac G8), but they made a mass appearance at GM North America when the Global-A electronics architecture in 2010 debuted with the Camaro, LaCrosse, Enclave and Terrain. That architecture now encompasses almost all of GM’s consumer vehicles, with the exception of the Lambdas…therefore the Lambdas still use the old, non-switchblade keyfob.

      Really, though, most non-European manufacturers weren’t and haven’t been using switchblade keys. Mercedes-Benz seems to have started it, but they actually *dropped* it in the early aughts when that laser key debuted Volkswagen’s been using basically the same fob for years with minor design changes, and that basic fob has also been ported to all of Volkswagen’s brands at some point…Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti. Volvo’s probably came out around 2004 or so, and it’s still used on the XC90. Jaguar had one for a while, in the S-Type and the previous XJ. So did Land Rover. Mazda probably started using folding fobs around 2006, though they were modified Ford units. Fiat came to the U.S. with its stylish flip key. I’ve seen flipkeys in some non-smart-key Hyundai/Kia models (like the 2010-present Santa Fe and the previous and current Soul), and Ford now offers one on the Focus, non-smart-key Fusion, and probably the 2015 Mustang and F-150 as well.

      Really, I wouldn’t say GM (who, again, was using flip fobs in *other* markets for quite some time) was all that late. The Japanese still *don’t* use them, preferring either the integrated fob/blade design (Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Honda) or just a plain detached key fob (Nissan).


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