General Motors Runs Tests On 16 Defective Ignition Switches1
According to a document posted online by U.S. safety regulators, General Motors tested 16 cars with defective ignition switch mechanisms to show that the vehicles are safe to drive.
A General Motors report filed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it removed the switch detent plunger and spring from the faulty switch to make it easier for the switch to change positions, but the switches did not malfunction in the additional tests, according to Automotive News.
“Test results showed no incidents of unintended key rotation when only an empty key ring was attached to the ignition key,” General Motors said in the May 6 report.
General Motors spokesman Jim Cain added, “We stress tested our conclusions from the initial 80 tests. We did this at our own discretion to present the strongest possible case that our advice is good.”
General Motors has gone on record saying the recalled cars are safe to drive as long as drivers use only the car key without any other items on the fob. A Texas lawsuit was filed to get GM to issue “park it” orders, but the judge ruled that the NHTSA, not the court, had more say on the matter. The NHTSA has stated it doesn’t feel this imperative is necessary.
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This is a case where even with all the recalled cars even with a heavy key chain only a small percentage of the ignitions would have any issue. This was not a slam dunk that they all have the issue.
My feeling is the tolerance on these vary depending when they were made or some other variable. Just to have so few injuries and deaths on a part like this leads me to believe they all are not bad and only a small percentage is. The problem is there is no way to tell which ones.
I have driven many of the affected cars and even own one and I have never had one that was not tight and had a good detent. I am sure there are some out there but I have yet to drive one.