GM recall causing headaches for some customers

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, the General Motors logo is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – General Motors has recalled close to 1.4 million vehicles worldwide because of faulty ignition switches.  It’s a situation that’s now the focus of a criminal investigation because some say those faulty switches led to more than a dozen deaths.

To make matters worse, parts to fix those switches aren’t immediately available.  GM is having dealerships offer free loaner vehicles or $500 toward a new GM product.  The only problem is not all of the dealerships are up to speed on how they should be helping those affected by the recall.

For people like Joyce Destefano this recall is creating too much work.  She says she’s getting nowhere with area GM dealers when it comes to the free loaner program.

“They have nothing to say. Nothing to offer me,” GM owner Joyce Destefano said.

Here’s the list of affected vehicles:

  • Cobalts and Pontiac G5s (model years 2005-2007)
  • Saturn Ion compacts (2003-2007)
  • Chevrolet HHR SUVs (2006-2007)
  • Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars (2006-2007)

GM officials say the part to fix the faulty ignition switch won’t be available until April.  The recall is concerning to Destefano.  Especially since she says her car has shut off close to 10 times while driving it.

“Barreling down the highway on the interstate and the car dies.”

An issue she says she reported to GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration two years ago.

“They claimed to not know of any problem.”

GM corporate officials told NewsChannel 15 over the phone Thursday that they sent an official letter with instructions back on March 4th to all GM dealers.  They say dealers should be treating customers on an individual basis to help lessen the inconvenience of the recall.

But after placing several calls to dealerships here in Northeast Indiana, we only found one that acknowledged receiving the letter and has started helping customers with the situation.

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