General Motors appears to be trying everything it can to contact the nearly 2.4 million owners of cars recalled for a faulty ignition switch. The Detroit Free Press reports the automaker has gone to “great lengths,” to get owners to bring their cars in for repairs, reaching out to some as many as six times.
The majority of affected vehicles are Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion models built between 2003 and 2007. The ignition switch in those models is known to easily shift out of place into the “off” position, which may shut the car down at speed and cut power to the steering, brakes and other crucial components.
GM says it has opened a national call center with 72 employees dedicated to informing vehicle owners of the recall, reached out to other owners on Facebook and other social media platforms, extended dealer service hours, made loaner cars available and offered $25 gift cards to owners who completed their repairs before Jan. 1. They even offered free tickets to the Texas State Fair to owners who brought their cars into dealers in a timely manner.
Despite this substantial effort, GM is still finding it difficult to round up all the owners to perform repairs. It has fixed about 1.3 million vehicles involved in the recall, which is over half, but the remaining cars have been more difficult to track down.
“You have to deal with issues like people’s busy schedules and a lack of urgency with others,” GM spokesman Jim Cain told the Free Press. “You have to keep at it. If the vehicle is out there, we want to get it fixed.”
Part of the problem is many of the cars are in the hands of the third or fourth owner. They may have bought that car from a third-party dealership who has no affiliation with Chevrolet, Saturn or Pontiac, making it nearly impossible to find it. Additionally, around 200,000 of the cars are believed to have been scrapped or taken off the road for various reasons.