The recall comes after reports of five frontal impact crashes and six fatalities related to ignition switch failure in the 2005 to 2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and 2007 Pontiac G5s, The Detroit News reports. Both the models are discontinued.
The ignition switch may fail by switching out of the run position if a key rink is carrying added weight, the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other jarring event, GM reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Additionally, the timing of the movement from the run position could interfere with the sensing algorithm resulting in airbags not deploying in a crash.
Officials with GM say they are aware of 17 additional crashes involving frontal impact and non-fatal injuries where the airbags did not deploy.
“All of these crashes occurred off road and at high speeds, where the probability of serious or fatal injuries was high regardless of airbag deployment. In addition, failure to wear seat belts and alcohol use were factors in some of these cases,” Alan Adler, GM spokesman, says.
In all, GM is recalling 619,122 Cobalts and G5s’ in the United States, as well as 53,310 vehicles in Canada and 6,130 in Mexico.
Owners of the two cars are urged to take non-essential items off their key ring and visit a dealer to have the ignition switch replaced.
Last summer, GM recalled 7,000 vehicles and the NHTSA investigated an addition 400,000 vehicles for airbag problems.
GM recalling 778K vehicles to replace ignition switches after fatal crashes [The Detroit News]