Pontiac G5, Chevrolet Cobalt Recalls Issued Over Ignition Problems

  • Written by: Russell Maas

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General Motors is recalling roughly 778,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles in North America, after reports of at least 22 accidents and six deaths that may have been caused by a problem with the ignition switch torque that could prevent the airbags from deploying when impacted.  

The Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 recall was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on February 7, after discovering that the ignition switch torque performance may not be to manufacturer specification.

The ignition switch on the affected vehicles may potentially turn the vehicle off during use if the torque of the ignition switch is not to specification. These events may happen if added weight is applied to a key ring or if the vehicle experience some sort of impact from a crash or a bumpy road. When the ignition switch is turned out of the “run” position it will deactivate the airbags posing a serious hazard to drivers and passengers in the case of an auto accident.

A General Motors spokesman, Alan Adler, announced that a particular series of events, such as hitting a pothole and bumping the ignition switch, may cause the switch to turn to a different setting, deactivating the airbags.

The recall includes 140,978 Chevrolet Cobalt vehicles from the 2005 model year, which were manufactured from August 3, 2004 through June 17, 2005, roughly 229,578 Chevrolet Cobalt vehicles from the 2006 model year, which were manufactured from April 5, 2005 through June 9, 2006, roughly 215,667 Chevrolet Cobalt vehicles from the 2007 model year, which were manufactured from April 20, 2006 through August 16, 2007, and 32,899 Pontiac G5 vehicles from the 2007 model year, which were manufactured between April 20, 2006 and August 6, 2007. Another 153,000 vehicles were recalled in Canada and 6,100 in Mexico.

The issue involving the ignition switch defect was presented to the Field Performance Evaluation Review Committee on January 31, 2014, where the Executive Field Action Decision Committee concluded a safety recall was necessary.

General Motors has initiated its recall by contacting dealers to provide written notice and warning to owners. Those dates when owners will receive notice have not been announced but GM’s course of action is to have the dealers replace the ignition switch to specification and provide reimbursement to owners for repairs completed on or before ten days after the owner mailing is completed.

Owners are encouraged to remove unnecessary key rings from their vehicles ignition key chain and to avoid rough terrain until the ignition switch is replaced. Owners with questions may contact GM by visiting their website or by contacting the dealer where their vehicle was purchased.

Photo Courtesy of Mrs. FireMom via Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. Lisa Reply

    Swell, they lied about their defective products and delayed fixing it properly.
    Now they are getting around to fixing it.
    My 05 Cobalt crashed on the freeway in 2011. What about me? Cannot get the car fixed because it was totaled. I was belted in so I did not suffer serious injuries but did incur an ambulance ride and emergency room visit with $3500 in medical bills. I bought the car new and had all service done by my Chevy dealer (RK Chevrolet) in Virginia Beach, VA. GM refused to do anything to help me and said I should not have lost control due to my power steering loss. Hell, all my dashboard warning lights lit up, the steering locked, the ABS did not function and my airbags did not deploy. I guess they lied to me. Sounds like my ignition switch turned off as I was riding down the freeway at 60 MPH.
    What recourse do I have now? I submitted a report to NHTSA on Aug 15 2011. Report number 10419491 with attached police report, statement and pictures. Help me.

  2. Wolfgang Reply

    I am unable to believe that the fix my Dealer did today on my 2007 Cobalt can solve the problem. After two hours waiting. I received a letter from GM saying exactly the same to do as before the fix and I received two new Car key’s for the same lock. The only difference is. The Key Head does not have a long hole as the old once but a round whole and very light weight key rings. As the letter said. No heavy key chains on the Key’s
    I can not acceot that as a fix. On the other hand I believe that my Car key is sitting proper in the lock and can not rotate or fall off.

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