• 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB003 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB004 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB005 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB006 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB007 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB008 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan. X10CH_CB009 (United States)
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Badging on rear decklid. X10CH_CB010 (United States)
Well, this is not good for General Motors. Following a report last week that GM was recalling 778,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compacts over concerns that the ignition could switch out of the "run" position without warning, USA Today reports that the Detroit-based behemoth knew about the issue, which affected 2005 to 2007 Cobalts (the Cobalt shown above and in the gallery is from 2010) and 2007 Pontiac G5s, all the way back in 2004.

The information comes from a deposition in a civil lawsuit against GM, obtained by USA Today, which claims that a GM engineer experienced the issue while the then-new model was undergoing testing. The issue was "solved" when a technical service bulletin was issued in 2005, informing dealers to install a snap-on key cover on the cars of customers who complained about the issue. According to the Cobalt's program engineering manager, Gary Altman, the cover was an "improvement, it was not a fix to the issue."

The case where the depositions were made was from 2010, and involved Brooke Melton, a 29-year-old pediatric nurse in Georgia who was killed on her birthday. At the time, police claimed she was going too fast on a wet, rural road, although it later came out through the black box that her car's ignition had come out of the "run" position at least three seconds before the accident (the max amount of time a black box records before a wreck), disabling her airbags, power steering and anti-lock brakes. According to USA Today, police said Melton was "traveling too fast for the roadway conditions," although it's impossible to know if she'd have been in the wreck, which injured the occupants of another vehicle, had her 2005 Chevy not shut off. GM settled the Melton family's case, although the details remain confidential.

As we reported last week, GM knew of 22 crashes relating to the ignition issue and six deaths that came from "frontal-impact crashes." According to USA Today, GM wouldn't say whether Melton was one of the six known deaths, as she wasn't in a frontal-impact accident.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago

    Get recall details from the NHTSA and find out what to do if your car been recalled.

    2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
    MSRP: $14,990 - $24,535
    2009 Chevrolet Cobalt
    MSRP: $14,990 - $23,525
    2008 Chevrolet Cobalt
    MSRP: $14,410 - $22,335
    2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
    MSRP: $13,175 - $20,975
    2006 Chevrolet Cobalt
    MSRP: $12,400 - $19,900
    Share This Photo X