GM includes Opel GT in its ignition-switch related recall

Article by Eugene Conan, on March 2, 2014

The Opel GT is now part of the latest recall issued by General Motors Co. related to faulty ignition switches. This makes the Opel GT the eighth model covered by the recall that already includes 1.6 million units of Chevrolet Cobalt (MY 2005-2007), Pontiac G5 (MY 2007), Saturn Ion (2003-2007), Chevrolet HHR (MY 2006-2007), Pontiac Solstice (MY 2006-2007), Saturn Sky (MY 2007) and the Pontiac Pursuit (2005-2006).

The Pursuit was sold only in Canada. Opel has issued a recall of 2,300 units of the 2007 GT sold in Europe and Russia as the roadster shares a platform and components with the Saturn Sky. An Opel spokesman told Automotive News Europe that there have been no accidents or injuries involving the GT affected by the recall.  The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration commenced a probe on why it took GM almost a decade to recall 1.6 million cars over a faulty ignition switch linked to 13 deaths in crashes.

NHTSA could fine GM up to $35 million if it determines that the carmaker failed to pursue a recall when it already knew the cars were defective. GM said it was "deeply sorry." "It is a major event for General Motors to apologize," remarked Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group that pushed for the expanded recall. "NHTSA will still want its penalty.

They'll want to send a message to the other automakers to toe the line better." GM and other carmakers are legally obligated to act on and report safety-related defects in a timely manner. In 2013, Congress raised the maximum fines NHTSA can impose to $35 million to hold carmakers more accountable following Toyota Motor Corp.'s recalls in 2010. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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