The Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion are but two cars caught in the General Motors ignition switch recall, but now GM Authority has word that GM fixed a design flaw seven years ago without notifying existing owners until April 2014.
A newly released document from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows drivers were able to remove their respective keys from the ignition of their vehicles even if the car was on. “If the ignition key is removed while the ignition is not in the ‘Off’ position, unintended vehicle motion may occur: (a) for an automatic transmission, if the transmission is not in ‘Park’; or (b) for a manual transmission, if the parking brake is not engaged and the transmission is not in reverse gear,” states the document.
This problem is separate from the ignition switch defect that has resulted in the recall of over 2.4 million cars, although Automotive News reports that both issues involve the same vehicles and were the subject of internal engineering inquiries in 2004 and 2005.
This is but another document showing that General Motors had evidence of a defect but waited years to publicly acknowledge it. GM has indicated that there have been hundreds of reports about about keys pulling out of the ignition, although there has been only one reported injury.
A GM spokesman says, “As part of our redoubled efforts to ensure customer safety and satisfaction, we looked at field actions to make sure we effectively addressed the issues at hand.”