Mary Barra, the chief executive of the US automaker, has recently signed letters sent this month to 1.9 million owners of cars that are involved in February’s recall of 2.6 million vehicles equipped with defective ignition switches.
The letter was sent to urge the owners of the cars – involved in the highest-profile recall of the year, and possibly in GM’s history – to complete the repairs on their cars. The vehicles affected, mostly older Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions can have the ignition switch trigger an engine shutdown, causing the loss of power for critical safety systems, including the airbags.
On of the letters was sent to at least 1 million owners who until now didn’t even order the replacement part through their dealer or online. Another letter went to around 875,000 clients who ordered the replacement part but didn’t go through with the repair yet.
The letters contained specific information on the danger of driving cars with the faulty switches – so far the company linked at least 54 crashes and 13 fatalities to the defect – as well as information on the victims compensation fund set up for damages brought by the faulty ignition. GM also has a specialized website in place – gmignitionupdate.com – that can offer additional information on specific ignition switch-related cars, including by vehicle model and year. After the initial recall of close to 2.6 million cars, the company went on and recalled so far 16.45 million cars for various switch related issues.