GM is riding a huge scandal related to the very late recall of some 2.6 million cars that were equipped with defective ignition switches, and evidence has surfaced that in one of the models – the Saturn Ion it also caused another problem.
According to GM’s data, the defective ignition switch was also highlighted in an unrelated 2006 technical service bulletin that was dispatched to the automaker’s dealers in the US, advising them about the complaints received from Saturn Ion customers who were unable to start their car.
Documents posted online by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that in an August 2006 bulletin, dealers were advised to replace the ignition switch – now the subject of the huge scandal and recall – if owners of Ion cars from model years 2006 and 2007 had trouble starting their cars.
“The specific reason the switches were recalled was because of the torque force, basically the key was too easy to turn,” argues GM spokesman Jim Cain. “This bulletin deals with a completely separate issue, which is an intermittent electrical connection. Yes, it involves the same part, but it’s an unrelated issue.”
The GM description in the bulletin – “no crank, no start with complete power” – is another incredible evidence that the particular part had problems, which led to the huge recall of Ions and other models – the defective switch can make an impromptu engine shutdown while driving, killing air bags and power steering and braking.