In a move consistent with its advice to consumers and dealers to only drive their car with a single key on the key ring, General Motors has asked dealers no longer put their promotional key tags on the key rings of vehicles.
“GM is requesting that dealers no longer place rigid items, such as leather or plastic tags, on vehicle key rings,” the automaker wrote in a notice to dealers, saying the request applies to all vehicles, not just those affected by a faulty ignition switch such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Camaro.
Grant Stoddart, CEO of Sharp Performance USA, a company which sells millions of leather and metal key tags to various dealers each year, said he doesn’t think the notice, which was marked “urgent” when being sent out to dealers, will make a difference.
“I can understand their concern and their being cautious, but I’m not sure that telling their dealers to do this is going to help,” he told Automotive News. “Customers like to get something free, and dealers like to get their name out there. To our knowledge, there’s never been an issue in the past and no other manufacturer has raised any concerns.”
Dealers use the key tags as a way to advertise their business. The tags also sometimes have the phone number of a dealer on the back and can help return the keys if they are lost.
The practice of removing the dealer tag originated within GM Canada and then trickled down into the rest of GM North America, said GM spokesman Alan Adler.
Adler said removing the tags is “not intended to address knee bump,” but wouldn’t elaborate as to why GM made the request. The notice to dealers, which was posted earlier this month, said the initiative was a “dealer communication to reduce key ring weight.” Somewhat confusingly, the notice also says if dealers do want to attach a key tag, they must add another small auxiliary ring, so long as the item is small and lighter than a key fob.