General Motors today announced yet another massive recall, and once again it concerns ignition keys. Today's action, which affects 3.16 million cars from model years 2000 through 2014, will see GM issue new keys or modify existing keys. The company says it is aware of eight crashes and six injuries that are related to this problem.
In the affected GM vehicles, the ignition switch could bumped out of the "run" position if the car is jarred, such as when hitting a pothole, and there is excessive weight on the key -- for instance a big keychain. If this happens, not only will the car's engine stop, but there's also a chance the airbags will not deploy in a crash. This is the exact same issue for which GM previously recalled millions of small cars like the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion.
The recall affects the following vehicles: 2005-2009 Buick LaCrosse, 2000-2005 Cadillac Deville, 2004-2011 Cadillac DTS, 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne, 2004-2005 Buick Regal LS and GS, 2006-2008 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and the 2006-2014 Chevrolet Impala. For 2014, the issue does not affect the all-new Impala, but only the fleet-only Chevrolet Impala Limited.
To fix the problem, GM dealers will add a special insert to the ignition key that turns the slot where a key ring is attached to a smaller hole, which will apparently prevent this problem. If the key is too worn, GM will give owners a brand-new key with a small hole instead of a slot. Until repair work can be completed, GM urges owners to remove any keychains from their car's ignition key.
GM also announced several other new recalls today.
2013-2014 Cadillac ATS, 2014 Cadillac CTS
The Problem: The shift cable for the automatic transmission may come detached from the shifter bracket, meaning the driver would be unable to shift between gears.
The Fix: GM will replace the secure the shift cable.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 68,877 2013-2014 Cadillac ATS and 2014 Cadillac CTS models.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 HD, 2015 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD
The Problem: If power steering hose clamps are loose, they could disconnect from the pump, allowing fluid to leak and preventing the power steering -- and power brake assist -- from functioning.
The Fix: GM dealers will inspect the power steering hose clamps in two locations, and tighten if necessary.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 57,192 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 HD and 2015 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD trucks.
2011 Cadillac CTS with AWD
The Problem: If a gasket between the prop shaft and a CV joint fails, the prop shaft could separate and bang into the floor of the car, potentially activating the roof-rail airbags. GM has reports of 15 cases in which this happened in customer cars.
The Fix: GM will inspect the affected vehicles and replace damaged components as needed.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 16,932 2011 Cadillac CTS models with AWD.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette with Competition Sport Seats
The Problem: A problem with the design of an air bag vent in the passenger seat means an unbelted child could prevent the airbag from deploying properly.
The Fix: Dealers will replace the airbag with a new version. Until the fix is effected, GM recommends avoiding putting children in the passenger seat.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 712 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes -- including our Four Seasons car.
2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
The Problem: On models with vinyl floors and accessory floor mats, there are no anchors to secure the floor mats, so they might slip under the driver's feet.
The Fix: Owners should return the floor mats to a GM dealership for a full refund.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 184 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.