Larger cars from GM got their faulty ignition switches fixed faster

Article by Christian A., on July 29, 2014

Larger cars and luxury units got more attention at General Motors when it comes to reports of faulty ignition switches than its small compact Chevrolet and Saturn cousins, according to documents the carmaker submitted to federal regulators.

Documents also show more instances when the carmaker quietly redesigned ignition switches without even recalling affected models or removing the defective ones from circulation. The newly revealed cases predate the issues involving the Chevrolet Cobalt but involve Ray DeGiorgio, the GM engineer tagged for the mess up.

The documents show chronologies related to two call backs issued June 30 covering 7.2 million Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles. They reveal that GM engineers approached sudden shutoffs as a more serious concern and quickly implemented a solution despite the absence of crashes and evidence that there is a widespread problem.

DeGiorgio even approved in 2003 a redesigned ignition switch just months after a customer with "approximately 50 keys and a set of brass knuckles" attached to the ignition key of a Pontiac Grand Am could make car shut off if driven over a speed bump at over 30 mph.

While a dealership wasn’t able to replicate the issue, the complaint was regarded as sufficient for the vehicle’s quality brand manager to personally meet the owner. GM spokesman Alan Adler called the redesign of the part as "more routine" than what occurred with the Cobalt.

He said the redesign was not because of any safety issue, noting that part changes are not unusual. He added that engineers constantly work on a vehicle, and “don't just launch and then stop."

In 2004, DeGiorgio green-lighted the switch used in the Pontiac Grand Prix without changing the part number. GM chief executive Mary Barra remarked that the engineer’s decision not to change the part number when redesigning the ignition switch for the Cobalt in 2006 was a violation of "Engineering 101." [source: automotive news - sub. required]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V sedan will be getting a new paint job that will give it a unique icy feel. Dubbed the Glacier Metallic Edition, this special model was built...
by - August 23, 2017
During the North American International Auto Show at Detroit in 2015, Hyundai introduced a concept pickup truck they named the Santa Cruz. This model took home the Concept Truck of...
by - August 23, 2017
Porsche introduces the technologically advanced wheels with braided carbon fiber. These will be initially available on the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. Being the first car manufacturer to offer such...
by - August 23, 2017
All eyes were turned to the fuchsia pink bespoke McLaren 720S MSO at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Sunday. Surely, we can understand why. The one-off supercar, which was...
by - August 23, 2017
Hyundai Motor Group – including both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors – has disclosed a wide-ranging plan to introduce 31 environment-friendly models in a new development roadmap that aims to...
by - August 22, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries