General Motors began repairing the ignition switches on more than 2.6 million small vehicles involved in the company’s widely publicized recall Monday. The recall was first announced in early February, but repairs on the vehicles had not been able to commence until the replacement parts, from supplier Delphi Corp., were available. However calls placed by NBC to 13 different dealers in eight states indicate the repairs have yet to begin.
According to NBC, the dealers they called had not repaired any vehicles as of Monday because the parts are still not yet available. Conversely, GM spokesman Greg Martin said the recall and repair timeline is on schedule.
“No delay on parts and they’re on their way,” Martin wrote in an email to NBC. “We’ve always said the week of April 7. We plan to send letters this week informing affected customers that parts are arriving at dealerships and to schedule a service appointment with their dealer. Repairs are likely to begin to follow soon after the customer letter mailing.”
The exact date of the parts availability is foggy. While testifying before Congress last week, GM CEO Mary Barra said “we’ll begin shipping material — or new parts,” on April 7, while an infographic on the automaker’s website stated “beginning April 7, parts will be available for the following vehicles,” and went on to list the affected models. That graphic was taken down momentarily to be updated on Monday.
A service manager at a Chevrolet dealership in New Jersey told NBC media reports were causing confusion about when the repairs would begin. He said customers were lined up at his dealership’s service department at 7 a.m. on Monday. He stressed that letters would be sent to customers advising them when they can schedule repairs and when parts will be available.