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General Motors have announced one of their largest recalls yet on Monday: over 3 million cars in the United States. All of the cars were recalled for faulty ignition switches, which can turn the car off inadvertently while driving, an issue which has haunted General Motors for some time.

This recall traces the issue back fourteen years, to model years 2000 to 2014. General Motors expects a hit of $700 million to their second quarter for recall related expenses. So far this year, GM has announced 44 recalls, totaling 17.73 million U.S. cars. Throughout North America, the total is over 20 million. 

GM issued this statement on today's recall:

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 models affected by this recall are as follows:

  • 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

GM is working to resolve the issue by adding an insert to ignition keys, closing the slot which can cause the ignition switch to be triggered by accident. 

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