General Motors is gearing up to begin recalling 1.6-million cars for faulty ignition switches, and in preparation, it has struck deals with rental car agencies Enterprise, Avis and Hertz to reserve thousands of loaner vehicles to serve affected customers. The company has even dropped its policy to only rent out GM models from the current or previous year, which means some owners will likely be driving competitors' cars during the repair.

Drivers who don't feel safe in their recalled vehicles can bring them to a dealer in exchange for a loaner until their car is repaired. Not only will GM cover the cost of the loaner car, it will also cover any additional insurance should the customer's own policy not offer sufficient coverage, notes Kicking Tires. So far, a few thousand owners have taken advantage of the exchange, according to The Detroit News. GM spokesperson Jim Cain tells Autoblog the recall campaign is scheduled to begin "on or about April 7."

While it's possible a few drivers of recalled cars could end up in competitor's vehicles, Cain tells us "most if not all of them will have GM vehicles." Dealers will first take cars from their own loaner fleets, and the rental agencies have many of the automaker's models as well. "We didn't want anyone to be inconvenienced," said Cain about the change in policy.

Delphi is supplying the new ignition switches and is running two shifts to keep up with demand, according to The Detroit News. The newspaper claims the repair only takes a few hours, but depending on how many cars a dealer is servicing at once, the loaners could be out for days or weeks at a time. If GM doesn't have enough of its own models to lend, it could mean a lot of time for already disgruntled GM owners to get used to another vehicle.


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  • 34 Comments
      scooter
      • 9 Months Ago
      So now the drivers of these bottom feeder cars will finally be insured? This is a win for all of us out there.
      m_2012
      • 9 Months Ago
      So who wants in on the next bankruptcy squares? $5, closest month/year wins. I'm calling June 2016. Two years is long enough to pull golden parachutes.
      BipDBo
      • 9 Months Ago
      As I understand it, this ignition problem only really occurs when the ignition has been slowly damaged by an excessively heavy key chain over a long period of time. Do I understand this correctly? If so, should GM be held 100% responsible? People put all kinds of crap on their keychains that shouldn't be there, hanging from your ignition. There is always the option of adding a quick release to your keys to detach the car keys. I'd bet that there's even a warning about this in the user's manual. What amount of user misuse should a manufacturer be responsible to account for? Every mechanical component will eventually wear out, but will ear out faster with poor user decisions like this. To what length of time or miles should a manufacturer be held accountable for their parts to hold up, especially under misuse?
        owen brown
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        As you understand it? Yeah right .stop trying to make excuses for GM and their POS products.
          tiger
          • 9 Months Ago
          @owen brown
          Owen, I don't think he was making excuses - he was asking a legitiment question. No fault in that.
          BipDBo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @owen brown
          Is this the cause or not?
        lrx301
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Here it comes again. Why were these GM car drivers obsessed with heavy hangings to their keys while drivers of other makes weren't? Or the ignition switches of other makes are way better than GM's?
        bubba_roe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Why do "heavy keychains" only effect GM vehicles?
        Jerry
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Dude, the rest of the industry designs their key switches to handle heavy keys. GM's design was sub-standard and they should be held accountable. Remember, John Q Public is a dumbass. You have to plan and design for this reality if you want to play with the big boys.
          tiger
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Jerry
          You cannot possibly design for every single scenario. This one, yes they should I do agree. But everything, not so much.
          Jerry
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jerry
          You must be from the GM ignition validation team tiger! Will you be giving a deposition?
        Neez
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Yes, they are responsible. GM has to lifecycle test based on reasonable use scenario's. Multiple keys on a keyring is not an unreasonable expectation of use.
        tiger
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        BipDBo, since these other morons won't answer your question, here it goes... Not really. The issue is a problem with the plunger within the ignition switch being 2mm too short (I think thats the spec). The problem is compounded by the heavy keychains and it can help prevent the issue of the inadvertent key-off situation. But to answer your question, no - its not the keychains fault. So, the plunger length is the real issue. Other vehicles don't have a problem with heavy keychains because the plunger is of adequate size. I don't know why some people carry so much crap on their keychains anyhow. For women, aren't their purses heavy enough as it is? I know my wifes is. As a kid, I remember my mom's bag feeling like it had a bowling ball in it.
          Jerry
          • 8 Months Ago
          @tiger
          Maybe people have a lot of keys? House keys, multiple cars, locks around the house, etc. I have 13 keys on two loops in addition to my car keys. I use all of those keys at least once a week at work and home. This is not worst case scenario, but it is not an outlier too. GM fumbled on this one. Very easy to design for and fix, yet they chose to hold onto the $3 or whatever it would have cost per car.
      MechE
      • 9 Months Ago
      Nothing like an old Chevy Cobalt picture to recall the CRAP GM used to make. My my how far they've come. Cavalier, Cobalt, Ion, Lumina, 90's Monte Carlo, GrandAm, G6, G5, Sonic, 90s-00s Malibu, Alero, Century, old Lacross, previous gen Impala,L-series, S-series, any Outlander or dustbuster minivan, Jimmy, Blazer....Man they made some crap from ~1980 till ~2005. Glad the company has trimmed down and makes some better cars now.Type your comment here
        bubba_roe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @MechE
        Who says they started making better cars?
          Jerry
          • 9 Months Ago
          @bubba_roe
          Exactly. Am willing to bet there is a rash of blown out 1.8L engines in the Sonics and Cruzes when they hit about 80,000 miles. Most people will not know to change the timing belt at 60,000 miles.
          MechE
          • 9 Months Ago
          @bubba_roe
          I'd at least call them competitive now, where as a decade ago they were selling via comparatively lower price and fleet sales.
        lrx301
        • 9 Months Ago
        @MechE
        I test drove an Uplander several years ago. The seat could only hold the hip and no any support to the thigh. My whole body started to slip down in a few minutes. What a crap!
        Ken Mam
        • 9 Months Ago
        @MechE
        What are you talking boy? I loved my Cobalt SS coupe. Solid, the engine is smooth and the seats are comfortable. Sure, the dash design could be better, but hey it's a economy car.
          Jerry
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ken Mam
          Yeah, the SS turbo was a blast to drive! If I could buy my Cobalt again, I would get one of those. They had their own quality issues though. Have you cracked a trans case yet?
          MechE
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ken Mam
          I'll give them some credit....the SS and old Z package cars were cool but anything lower trim was pretty lackluster. That's like V6 vs V8 3rd/4th gen camaro/firebirds. Did I mention Beretta and Corsica.....what gems.
      bethany.omalley
      • 9 Months Ago
      I love my Ford Fusion rental vehicle. This SYNC System is so easy. Might just sell the Cobalt and go to A Ford Dealership after work.
        Jerry
        • 9 Months Ago
        @bethany.omalley
        I did just that a month ago. Got a black 2014 Fusion SE with 0% APR. Good luck trying to get a trade in worth a crap for that Cobalt though. Everyone knows they are suspect now.
      J
      • 9 Months Ago
      "GM ignition recall rental car customers offered free rental cars with insurance while their rental cars are being repaired" It's a vicious cycle...
      kyvibej
      • 9 Months Ago
      So, when a car is turned off you STILL have steering and brakes; for safety that is how they have been designed for decades. The only thing that is lost is power assist. Don't kids these days learn that before they are given the keys? There is always the option to turn it back on too. This lack of education is no excuse for deaths in what could easily have been a survivable incident. I've never had any issues with my ignition (2012 chevy cobalt)... in fact, it's the smoothest car I've ever been in. I love it. It's cheap to fill up (thanks gasbuddy), cheap to maintain/repair, only 25/month to insure (thanks 4AutoInsuranceQuote)‚Äč, and looks beautiful. I'll take it in for the re-call, but I don't think this is a big issue. Go Chevy!
        Brian Reichert
        • 8 Months Ago
        @kyvibej
        Do you think that is along the lines of what your mother would say, had you been one of the victims of a failed ignition switch? Let's not get into the "but I would have turned the key back on!" business, because the fact of the matter is, hitting a bump should not move your key in the ignition from the run position, period. Would you really consider it acceptable if, in theory of course, your key moved positions after encountering a large bump, with no outside influence such as a knee? If your answer is yes, please hang excessive weight from your key ring and do not address this recall. According to you it's "not a big issue" so why waste your time to get it fixed? After all, you declared these deaths were caused by a lack of education, so educate us all on how great the idea of having your car shut itself off when you're passing over rough road surfaces, specifically designed for the safe operation of vehicles, sounds. Pretty f'n stupid to me!
        scooter
        • 9 Months Ago
        @kyvibej
        Is it the only car you've ever been in? :-)
        Rae
        • 8 Months Ago
        @kyvibej
        you are really misinformed, and highly insensitive. We have a cobalt, and the key locks, and you can't turn it on. Takes several tries to get it to turn in the key hole just right for it to work. Learn about cars and how the power of steering works before you post a comment. i tried really hard not to say this..but you're an idiot. Also, imagine how short a time frame you have in between freaking out and trying to press the breaks, and turn the car back on before you inevitably crash into something. My heart goes out to the families who lost a loved one over a $2 car part. :'(
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 8 Months Ago
      GM is sly. They knew if they hid the problem for more than 5 years, none of the Cobalts, G5, IONs would still be on the road. All are in the junk yard. Should not be too many left needing parts.
      jebibudala
      • 9 Months Ago
      WITH insurance?!?!?! Count me in!
      Sergio Alvarado
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'm not sure putting affected people in GM rental cars is such a good idea. It sure wouldn't make me feel safe!
      Robert Loo
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have been waiting for the Ignition Switch for over 2 months now went to the dealer and they say it on a list for parts to come in , then i ask what would it take about 6 months it already going on 2 and half months just called the dealer yesterday 5-14-2014 the service manager said will call you asp. When the parts come in. Chevy HHR. 2009 LT. Model .
      Susan Morgan Stewart
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is bullcrap. I am on a "waiting list" for both the new parts AND a rental car. Seems there are not enough rental cars available. Which we all know is not true. GM rather people drive these cars that can possibly kill them. It all comes down to money.
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