The company is recalling 2.19 million of the same models to fix a problem that allows keys to be removed from ignitions that are not in the "off" position.

Replacement parts for cars at the center of a massive General Motors recall for defective ignition switches began arriving at dealerships across this country just this week. If car owners have already gotten repairs made, they'll need to make an additional trip to their dealerships. On Thursday, General Motors said there's another safety problem plaguing the same vehicles.

The company is recalling 2.19 million of the same Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Saturn Ion, Sky, Pontiac G5 and Solstice models to fix a problem that allows keys to be removed from ignitions that are not in the "off" position.

In at least one case, a vehicle rolled away in a parking lot and resulted in a crash and injury, according to GM, which said it is aware of "several hundred" complaints about keys coming out of ignitions. The company will fix the ignition lock cylinders to prevent the problem.

This is a separate problem than the one allowing ignition switches in the same models to inadvertently move from the "run" to "accessory" positions, which can turn off both the engine and airbag systems. That defect has led to 13 deaths, and subsequently, Congressional inquiries into why the company didn't recall affected vehicles sooner.
Earlier Thursday, GM announced it has suspended two senior engineers – with pay – who oversaw changes in ignition-switch designs. Although the company did not name the two, Bloomberg News reported they were Ray DeGiorgio and Gary Altman.

During Congressional hearings last week, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) alleged that DeGiorgio had perjured himself while testifying in a lawsuit related to a crash caused by the faulty ignition switch, and expressed disbelief that he had not yet been fired.

"This is an interim step as we seek the truth about what happened," GM CEO Mary Barra said about the suspensions Thursday. "It was a difficult decision, but I believe it is best for GM."

Before removing the key from the ignition, GM says motorists should ensure their cars are in the "park" position or, in manual cars, have the emergency brake on until the cars are repaired. In the case of the ignition-switch recall, GM says drivers must remove all keys from their key rings until the cars are fixed.

Overall, the company has issued six recalls in the past four weeks that affect 4,258,687 cars, including Thursday's recall.

While GM has maintained the cars are safe to operate in that instance, it has also said there's a heightened risk driving on rough roads and other potentially jarring conditions. A US District Court judge in Texas is weighing a request to ground the entire fleet of affected cars until repairs are made. Last Friday, she said she did not yet have enough information to make a decision.

GM announced the ignition-switch recall in February and has twice expanded it to include more vehicles. Overall, the company has issued six recalls in the past four weeks that affect 4,258,687 cars, including Thursday's recall.

The company revised financial figures and said it expects to spend $1.3 billion on recalls in the first quarter of 2013. That's up from previous estimates of $750 million.

"The extent, and cost of GM's ignition-switch recall has grown dramatically in the past few weeks," said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book. "Much of this stems from GM's desire to comprehensively address all aspect of the recall, though there's also growing concern over potentially deceptive or criminal behavior that could result in government fines."

Pete Bigelow is an associate editor at AOL Autos. He can be reached via email at peter.bigelow@teamaol.com and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.


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
  • 38 Comments
      Karfreek
      • 8 Months Ago
      The old GM "Square key" ignitions did this after about 2-3 years of use. It was great for warming my car up in college.
      GTPWilks
      • 8 Months Ago
      My old 99 Grand Prix actually did this after it was about 10 years old. At times in came in handy because I could leave the car running, remove the key to go lock/unlock the garage and not have to shut the car off in the process. I knew it was broken but one of those things I never fixed on my own and just considered it one of those stupid things to happen when a car get 10+ years old.
        Basil Exposition
        • 8 Months Ago
        @GTPWilks
        Yea my AMC Grand Wagoneer had this "problem" Always considered it more of a feature than a problem - it really was convenient. It's not too hard to remember to put the car in park before you get out.
      foxtrot685
      • 8 Months Ago
      I actually knew a Saturn Ion Red-Line owner that this happened to. He could take the key out while the car was running. He found out it could do this at an auto-cross event while cornering... the key just slid out of the ignition and onto the passenger side floor board :o
        onewayroll
        • 8 Months Ago
        @foxtrot685
        Your friend went auto-crossing in a Ion?
          foxtrot685
          • 8 Months Ago
          @onewayroll
          Sure did, and it performed very well with the suspension modifications.
          Bernard
          • 8 Months Ago
          @onewayroll
          I found a video of an Ion Red-Line autocrossing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdXOdR95qNU
          Bernard
          • 8 Months Ago
          @onewayroll
          Hey, why beat on an expensive car when you can beat on a cheap one?
      EvaBrain
      • 8 Months Ago
      GM has had a very long history of worn keys being able to be removed from running cars. I had a 1982 Blazer that would allow the ignition key to be removed in ANY position after about five years of daily use. A new key did not have this problem, but there was clearly visible wear on the old key. Further you can read at http://bit.ly/1kQgAew
      bubbamc1tam
      • 8 Months Ago
      I own a 2009 cobalt bought it new 08/08/2009. in the first two months the car was in the shop 3 times. At 114 miles had brake shoes on rear replaced. At 167 miles had no drivers side turn signal tech found bulb burned out. 4 weeks after purchase I became ill after car not being driven for 10 days. Then car is dead in drive way. When a Cobalt has no power it can not be placed in neutral so it had to be jerked on to flat bed tow truck. Dealer found dead cell in battery. At this point we request to exchange or have GM take the car back. Spoke with Mr. Gilstrap case #31429 about this after waiting well over a week were told it was not a enough issues. To have them take it back even though they had start the if you done like it bring it back weeks after I bought the car. At 9,397 power steering motor had to be replaced (recall) at 28408 ignition lock cylinder was replaced (recall) pulled in the shop pulled the key out with the car running in drive asked if this would fix the issue was told yes. At 31,569 there was rattle in steering column. The steering column had to be replaced. At 36,531 had the fuel pump assy. replace ( the recall for this part was not ever issued for the state I drive in). With the last ignition recall I called GM again wa given a new case #71-129-0436407 The car had 39170 miles on it sitting in my drive way I am driving my husband Ram. It is time some one hold GM accountable for the Lemons they are selling to the customer. These are my problems I can not put myself in the place some one that has had a family member hurt or killed
      Go2Fast
      • 8 Months Ago
      My first car was a 1983 Dodge Ram Pioneer full sized van. I could take the keys out of the ignition while driving. Never caused a problem for me and my brother, but it sure did amaze my friends. I had other friends with Pontiacs that could do this too.
      Stridenttube
      • 8 Months Ago
      GM cars have had this issue for years! My 1994 bonneville did the same thing last year.
      Avinash Machado
      • 8 Months Ago
      Where is Rick Wagoner?
        rlog100
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Because Rick Wagoner was signing off on every part? There aren't enough hours in the day for one person to study and sign off every part an automaker eventually puts in production. Seems to me he would be involved if GM was made aware of the safety problem before he left. I doubt NTHSA sent GM a memo 6 years ago than then backed off and let it go if they thought they were seeing something significant. Seems to me the lawyers figured this one out, especially now that the GM has money. In fact, did someone sit on this waiting for GM to have money again?
      normc32
      • 8 Months Ago
      It takes GM four weeks of recalls to make to 4.2m, Toyota does +6m in a day?!
        Quest
        • 8 Months Ago
        @normc32
        4.2M? Nah, they've just blown pat 8 million in a month+ while Yota does a pre-emptive recall. Think of it as Yota throwing all you GM fanbois (Garbage cheerleaders) a bone for all your sorrow ;-) You're too funny mate ;-)
        Get a life
        • 8 Months Ago
        @normc32
        Toyota's recall was a global recall. Only 2 million in the states. Gm on the other hand of the 8 million vehicles recalled most have been in the usa.
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Get a life
          [blocked]
      sp33dklz
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am baffled that people still support this company. Good luck with your purchases.
      KaptnKauto
      • 8 Months Ago
      -Criminal Charges -Huge Fines -Extensive compensation -GM Admitting it knew about this but hid it to get the bailout -Dan Akerson pulled into congress to swear under oath his knowledge -Firing all of the engineers involved and all of their management that was involved -Personal apology by GM to the families of the people who died -GM paying for the metal health treatment of the fathers and mothers that bought these cars for their children -100% money back for the full value of the cars to each person it was sold to -Pulling all these cars off the road on GM's dime and having the scrapped -Government Safety regulators full time working at GM and paid by GM and report to congress -A tear down of GM's business practices and a severing of Cadillac and Corvette -Forcing "New GM" to change their official Business name due to hiding data that would have prevented a bailout -Forcing a disclaimer on each and every GM commercial pointing out the names of all the people GM murdered -GM paying back all the profits it made off of these cars to it's share holders and to the government for the bailout This list above is still incomplete, it will never be complete or enough for the people who died to have justice. Please add to the list. GM, enough is enough. If GM buys their way out of this and if the DOJ allows them to continue then all Justice is lost forever. Boycott GM products to support Justice and the American way.
      bootsnchaps60
      • 8 Months Ago
      After all, beating Toyota in sales figures was the priority for decades; quality was on the list somewhere.
    • Load More Comments