General Motors said it will recall 3.16 million mid-size and large cars to modify their ignition keys to prevent the same problem that has been blamed for 13 deaths and 54 crashes.
GM said the recall covers 2000 to 2014 models in the U.S. because the ignition switch may inadvertently move out of the "run" position if the key is carrying extra weight and experiences some jarring event. The automaker says it knows of eighty crashes and six injuries related to the switches being recalled.
"The use of a key with a hole, rather than a slotted key, addresses the concern of unintended key rotation due to a jarring road event, such as striking a pothole or crossing railroad tracks.
"Only one of the models included in the U.S. recall of 3,160,725 cars is still in production – the previous generation Chevrolet Impala, which is sold to daily rental fleets as the Impala Limited. The total North America population – U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports – is 3,360,555.
"The safety recall follows a review of ignition issues following the recall in February of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars. GM is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to this recall.
"If the ignition switch moves out of the "run" position, there is an effect on power steering and power braking. In addition, the timing of the key movement out of the "run" position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the air bags not deploying.
"The cars being recalled are the:
- Buick Lacrosse -- 2005-2009
- Chevrolet Impala -- 2006-2014
- Cadillac Deville -- 2000–2005
- Cadillac DTS -- 2004–2011
- Buick Lucerne -- 2006–2011
- Buick Regal LS & GS -- 2004–2005
- Chevy Monte Carlo -- 2006–2008
"In these vehicles, the ignition switch may be unable to handle extra weight hanging on a slotted key. GM will add an insert to the ignition keys of the recalled vehicles to close the slot and leave a 4x6-millimeter hole through which the key ring could be attached. In vehicles where the key cover has been worn, new keys with holes instead of slots will be provided free of charge.
"Rework of the keys – adding key inserts – at GM dealerships is expected to begin in the next few weeks. Until the rework or replacement is completed, owners of the recalled cars are urged to remove additional weight from their key chains and drive with only the ignition key."