Documents revealed today show that General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discussed issues with the Saturn Vue three times before a recall was issued last month.
GM recalled 215,243 Vues built between 2002-04 after receiving reports of ignition key removal even though the key was not in the “off” position, as well as vehicle rollaway. GM had dealers test cars and replace the ignition cylinder or keys if necessary, documents posted on the NHTSA website said. Of the 200,000+ cars, only 152 are known to have been affected by the defect, which includes two crashes and one injury.
Records show GM reviewed Vue data with NHTSA on three separate occasions starting in June; subsequently, GM conducted the recall on July 31. The reason for the review in the first place was due to GM’s ignition switch recall for several other GM products, which has led to the current crisis that has included congressional probes and class-action lawsuits due to GM’s previous knowledge of the problem.
The Vue is not part of the initial set of cars involved with the faulty ignition switches, but is the only GM other product that has had ignition switch problems.