NATIONAL -- Monday, General Motors started repairs on the millions of vehicles at the center of a controversial recall. The owners of six GM models can now take their vehicles to a dealer to fix the ignition switch.
The first repairs are available for model years 2003 - 2007. Those included in the recall are the Chevy Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G6, Solstice, Saturn ION and Sky.
Other models will be added at a later date. The faulty ignition switch is tied to at least thirteen deaths.
NATIONAL -- Outrage and anger are just two of the emotions people are feeling after the delay of the General Motors recall of nearly 2.5 million cars. Tuesday, GM's CEO said she wasn't sure why it took more than ten years to fix an ignition problem on some cars. Thirteen people died because of it. Now dealers are swamped fixing the problem for drivers. WCIA-3's Gary Brode explains.
If you haven't already received a notice in the mail, you'll get one soon if you have one of the cars involved. Owners of cars made by General Motors in the 2000's, should get a recall letter, then a second recall letter to set up an appointment for a repair.
One dealership owner says he's expecting a lot of them. This dealership garage is pretty empty, but soon enough, it will be filled with broken cars.
"Recalls are part of the business. Every manufacturer has recalls, but it's how you take care of the customer."
Eight cars are involved in the recall. Since it began, dealerships' phones have been ringing off the hook.
"It has increased the volume of calls. People are concerned and we're trying to help them with their concern."
But parts won't be shipped across the country until Monday, so drivers will have to wait at least one more week. The recall is making some GM buyers second guess their purchases.
"They should have 'fessed up to that immediately. It's just not right. People have died from this. I've seen this on the news. No, I won't be buying from GM for a long time, if not at all."
"We understand consumers are concerned about it and it is a concern that people might be frustrated with General Motors, but we're going to stand behind them and make the repairs as needed."
But, not everyone is wavering on buying GM cars.
"It doesn't affect anything, whether I buy GM products. Companies and people do make mistakes."
General Motors is offering free rental cars to anyone affected by the recall. They are also giving those owners an addition $500 discount on new GM vehicles and free towing for the recalled car.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra was questioned on Capitol Hill Tuesday for her role in the deaths of thirteen people. Congress wonders why it took ten years to recall an ignition problem on several faulty cars.
"Today's GM will do the right thing. That being with my sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by this recall, especially the families and friends who lost their lives or were injured. I am deeply sorry."
She blamed a lack of communication between departments and the old GM regime for the recall. When the recalled car hit a bump, it would cause the engine to turn off immediately. Research shows it would have cost $0.57 to fix the ignition problem.
GM recalled another 1.3 million cars Monday for a separate issue. These cars may experience a loss of power steering.
NATIONAL -- It's been a rough month for General Motors and it's getting even worse. Friday night, the company announced it would be recalling even more vehicles; bringing the total to more than 2.5 million.
The new problems GM reported have to do with the transmissions of six different model trucks and SUV's. The list includes the top-selling Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierra 1500 Pickup Trucks from the 2014 model year and a list of several models from next year's lineup, including the 2015 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, and models of the 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUV's with six-speed automatic transmissions.
In all those models, GM says transmission cooling lines weren't secured properly meaning oil could "contact a hot surface and result in a vehicle fire." The company says three fires have been reported without any injury.
Also recalled, certain trims of the Chevy Cruze Compact from 2013 and 2014. The right front axle shaft on those cars can fracture and separate while being driven causing wheels to lose power without warning. The company says it was aware of several dozen episodes but not crashes or injuries.
GM is also confirming another death related to those faulty ignition switches, bringing the total to thirteen. Saturday, an attorney sent GM's CEO Mary Barra a letter asking her to meet with family members who lost a loved one because of an ignition switch defect.
The proposed meeting would take place before she testifies in front of investigators about that very issue Tuesday. GM says it will respond to the invitation directly.
NATIONAL -- The CEO of General Motors is apologizing for a recall tied to at least twelve deaths. In a video distributed by the company, Mary Barra commented on the ignition switch defect which led to the recall of 1.6 million vehicles.
GM admits engineers knew of the problem as early as 2004, but the recall wasn't issued until last month. Congressional, and even criminal probes, are now underway.
Barra says GM is changing the way it decides and manages recalls in the future. She
also announced the company has dedicated 50 employees in a customer call center to answer questions about the recall. Barra says repairs for the recalled cars should start in April.
NATIONAL -- General Motors is recalling about 780,000 vehicles for faulty ignition switches. It can cause the engine to shut off unexpectedly. The problem also prevents airbags from working.
There have been 22 accidents in which airbags did not deploy. Six people died. The recall affects the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 between 2005 - 2007. GM will fix the problem at local dealerships.
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