General Motors announced today it has recalled almost 800,000 of its cars after 6 people have died due to accidents involving faulty ignition switches. GM has acknowledged at least 22 accidents involving the ignition switches in some of its Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact models. The problem is attributed to heavy key rings which can accidentally pull the key into the "off" position, an issue which can also happen when the car goes over a bump. According to the Los Angeles Times GM said in a statement that all of the crashes occurred off-road and at high speeds.
When the key is pulled out of position it causes the engine to stall and turns off most of the electrical components, preventing airbags from deploying. While production of both cars was discontinued years ago, GM says it will have dealers immediately replace the incorrectly manufactured key ignition switch.
"We applaud GM for working to recall and repair this life threatening defect before more innocent vehicle occupants are hurt or killed," Lieff Cabraser attorney Fabrice Vincent commented. "Hopefully word will spread quickly and we fear some vehicle owners/occupants may not find out in time."
Update: GM Doubles the Recall
On February 26, 2014, General Motors announced it will more than double the size of the recall to 1.4 million cars sold in the U.S. GM added 2003-7 Saturn Ions, 2006-7 Chevrolet HHRs and 2006-7 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models to the recall.