GM is to either redo or replace 3.16 million car ignition keys on models that came out in the past fourteen year. The keys are to have holes in them rather than slots. The problem of key movement due to incidents and accidents taking place on the road are of chief concern.
"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," states GM.
"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."
This is all being done to ensure security and avoid any future safety hazards that might crop up. There are many complications that may occur due to the key and keyhole system. Thus the recall of vehicles was a timely measure.
Among the cars that are being pulled off the market are:
- Buick Lacrosse,
- Chevrolet Impala,
- Cadillac Devlle,
- Cadillac DTS,
- Buick Lucerne,
- Buick Regal LS,
- Buick Regal GS and
- Chevy Monte Carlo.
2005-2009 models of ReBuick Lacrosse, 2006-2014 models of Chevrolet Impala 2000–2005 models of Cadillac Deville, 2007–2011 models of Cadillac DTS, 2006–2011 models of Buick Lucerne, 2005 models of Buick Regal LS & GS and 2006–2008 models of Chevy Monte Carlo are being recalled.
GM said that the ignition switch of these vehicles may be unable to "handle extra weight hanging on a slotted key." The company will "add an insert to the ignition keys of the recalled vehicles" that will "close the slot and leave a 4x6-millimeter hole" for the key ring. And GM will also provide new keys with holes instead of slots, free of charge to those car owners whose key covers has been worn.
GM dealerships is expected to start adding key inserts / rework of the keys in the next few weeks. GM urged all owners of the recalled cars "to remove additional weight from their key chains and drive with only the ignition key," until the rework or replacement is completed.
The reworking of the keys involves several practical measures that will go a long way towards ensuring safety standards in the vehicles. Over $700 million will be the charges incurred by General Motors thanks to this blunder from the ,past. The saying that a stitch in time saves nine applies here with full force.
GM is taking these steps since its own reputation is at stake here. The company has an image and a brand that it seeks to safeguard at all costs. It cannot afford a chink in its armor since “for want of the shoe the kingdom was lost”.
Every little detail on its cars counts in the end. And if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well. With this recent faux pas, GM will have to pay a price for its negligence. And that is in the form of lost credibility.
No one will be ready to buy a car by GM as easily as in the past. And even a fool will most likely think twice before being inveigled into the honeyed words of the proverbial used cars salesman. It is better to have created something less complex but useful than to have reinvented the automobile only to find that you are afraid of its polluting results.