General Mishap: Car Company Misses Major Screw-UP

General Mishap: Car Company Misses Major Screw-UP

Just when it seems GM was getting back on their feet….. (Image via AP)

Zak Borrelli, Writer

General Motors is in hot water after failing to acknowledge a problem that is responsible for at least 13 deaths.

The vehicles that were affected by this problem include 2006-07 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstices, 2006-07 Saturn Sky models, 2007 Pontiac G5 models and the Ion and Cobalt models. The cars all share the same ignition component and none of them remain in production.

The problem stems from a  condition with the ignition switch that may allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the “accessory” or “off” position, turning off the engine and most of the electrical components on the vehicle.

According to the Detroit Free Press, “Amber Marie Rose, after arguing with a boy, got into her Chevrolet Cobalt, jammed down the accelerator and lost control in a nearby cul-de-sac, slamming into a tree. The impact crushed her against the steering wheel. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt; she’d been drinking, too.”

The article continues, “Despite the crash, the air bags didn’t go off, triggering an investigation ordered by federal regulators. Buried in the report, now nearly a decade old, was a curious fact: The ignition switch was turned to ‘accessory’ — the setting a driver uses when he or she wants to listen to the radio or lower the windows without the engine running — and not “run,” as would be expected for a moving car.”

 “That’s terrifying, just imagining your car shutting off while driving, I don’t know what I’d do.” said senior Emily Lavalle

What’s even more terrifying? GM may have been aware of this problem, and failed to act to fix it.

GM was aware that there was a problem with the ignition switches, as well as the airbags in a selected number of their vehicles. However, they failed to issue a recall, hoping that their mistakes would go unnoticed and nobody would get hurt. Just coming out of bankruptcy, and a government bailout, the last thing the company needed was to lose millions on a costly recall. Not to mention all the negative publicity.

“It sounds like they gambled, and lost” said Lavalle when presented with the previous information.

ignitionswitch
The faulty ignition switch, pictured above. (Image via CNN.com)

“It’s really sad to see a company that cares more about their image and making money than the safety and well being of their customers” she continued.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the data available at the time “did not contain sufficient evidence of a possible safety defect trend that would warrant the agency opening an investigation.” but they definitely needed to do a better job checking investigating those concerns.