While GM started to recall the affected cars with the ignition switch defect since late February, only now dealers have started repairing the affected cars in Chevrolet Cobalts and other models – which are now tallying 2.6 million units.

With the US automaker set to repair each car on the road by October, in the next six months the cars are expected to gradually roll into services for a fix that will take only 30 to 45 minutes to finish.

“Customers will be receiving letters this week to let them know parts are arriving at dealerships and to schedule an appointment,” said GM spokesman Greg Martin.

“The experience those customers have next in getting their ignition switches replaced by GM dealers can make those attitudes substantially better or worse,” said Chris Malone, a managing partner at consulting firm Fidelum Partners. “GM has fumbled most of its opportunities to show that it’s a new-and-improved company with its handling of these recalls thus far. Will the recall experience customers have with dealers be substantially different? At this point, I’m not holding my breath.”

A swift and clean repair is fundamental to dwindling consumer trust – as GM has recalled the cars only now while knowing about the defect as far as 2004 – and with reports that on one model the defect appeared in 2001.

Via The Wall Street Journal


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