In 2014, General Motors issued one of the largest automotive recalls ever to fix faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and other small car models. Four years later, the automaker said in a Monday Automotive News report that 96 percent of vehicles have been fixed.
The figure is shy of GM’s goal to fix 100 percent of models still on the road globally. Around the world, GM has repaired 92 percent of the affected vehicles. Yet, the 96 and 92 percent figures are far better than most recall campaigns; most U.S. recall campaigns see a 75 percent participation rate. But, now, GM is still attempting to hunt down 170,000 vehicles.
“It’s really down to pick-and-shovel work — checking individual VINs to determine: Is the vehicle even still on the road?” said Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesman.
GM no longer has to report its recall progress to the federal government, but a federal monitor still keeps tabs on the automaker until at least September, per a deferred prosecution agreement. GM paid $900 million to drop all criminal charges and agreed to additional oversight. GM still communicates with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration) weekly.
The automaker has since introduced a number of initiatives to reduce the risk for recalls and improve consumer safety, including CEO Mary Barra’s Speak Up For Safety program. The program encourages employees to report potential safety problems to identify potential issues earlier.