While two Democratic senators called in an open letter for General Motors to issue an unprecedented call for owners of the 2.6 million cars involved in the faulty ignition switch recall to be taken off the roads, the Department of Transportation says otherwise.
According to the Department, owners of the cars recalled by GM don’t need to be parked until they are repaired by the automaker’s dealerships, with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sending letters to senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, saying the action “is not necessary at this time.”
“We remain extremely concerned that GM and NHTSA are not doing enough to convey the seriousness of this defect to owners of the affected cars, unnecessarily putting more lives at risk,” immediately replied in a statement the two senators.
It could take months for GM to repair all the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and other models involved with the recall that has so far claimed at least 13 lives, as the necessary replacement part has been very slowly rolling out to services.
Still, the Transportation Secretary contended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “is satisfied that for now” the safety hazard is reduced by GM recommending the ignition key to be used without added weight on it – regarded as the cause for the switches to jump mid-driving to the “accessory” or “off” position – causing the engine to power down.