General Motors will start repairs Monday to the 2.6 million vehicles at the center of a controversial recall. But local dealerships say the part needed to make the repair is not yet available.
The recall affects owners of six GM models: Chevy Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G-5 and Solstice, and the Saturn Ion and Sky. The affected model years are 2003 through 2007.
The faulty ignition switch is tied to at least 13 deaths, but some believe that number could be higher.
The ignition switch can be bumped and the vehicle can switch off while on the road, disabling power to steering, brakes and airbags.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating why the company took ten years to do a recall. GM CEO Mary Barra has apologized, but says she doesn’t know why there was a delay after the company discovered the problem a decade ago.
According to a memo obtained by investigators, GM engineers met early in 2005 to consider making changes to the ignition switch after reports it was moving out of position and causing cars to stall. But an engineer said the switch was “very fragile” and advised against changes.
Later that year, GM also approved but then canceled a change to the key design.
Repairs can be made through your local GM dealership. The repair is free and will take about a half hour, according to General Motors.
A service manager at Stark GM in Merrill, tells NewsChannel 7, if your car is one of the recalled models you should remove extra keys from your keychain to reduce the amount of strain on the ignition.
Below are phone numbers for several GM dealerships in north central Wisconsin. At this time the part may not be available to make repairs. Affected car owners should have received a notice by mail.
Editor's note: Our interview during this story is with Norm Johnson from Stark GM in Merrill. Our live location was in front of Fred Mueller in Schofield. Johnson does not work at Fred Mueller
Parsons of Antigo (715) 627-4888
Gross Auto Group (877) 278-0581
Wheelers Chevrolet (877) 228-7491
Stark GM (715) 804-4141
Gross Auto Group (888) 743-3207
Rhinelander GM (715) 365-8100
Fred Mueller Automotive (800) 507-6275
Len Dudas Motors (715) 344-3410
Neuville Motors (800) 742-3505
Kocourek Chevrolet (715) 359-7200
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