CNBC airing special report Sunday on GM ignition switch recall – Mlive Kalamazoo

Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014

DETROIT, MI- General Motors Co. will be the centerpiece of a special one-hour report Sunday night on CNBC.

The 10 p.m. program – called “Failure to Recall: Investigating GM” – will focus on the Detroit-based automaker’s ongoing recall troubles with focus on its ongoing recall of 2.6 million small cars due to faulty ignition switches.

“CNBC tells the story of one of America’s most iconic companies, now caught in a deepening crisis,” reads a brief description of the program. “Following the dark days of its descent into bankruptcy, General Motors fought its way back to health, only to confront evidence of a potentially deadly defect and accusations of a corporate cover-up.”

For months, GM has been under heavy scrutiny from media and public officials over the recall, which has been linked to 13 deaths and more than 30 accidents.

The special — reported by CNBC’s Phil LeBeau — comes two days after the Department of Transportation and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced a record $35 million fine and sanctions over the delayed recall of the recalled vehicles.

Saturn-Ion-GM-ignition-switch-recall.jpgCNBC video: Driving GM’s flawed ignition switch 

A CNBC spokesperson said the CNBC program will focus on the ignition switch recall, but also discuss GM’s overall recall crisis. As of May 15, GM had issued 24 safety and non-compliance recalls for roughly 12.8 million vehicles worldwide, including nearly 11.2 million in the U.S. Many of which came following the ignition switch recall and changes to its evaluation processes. The recalled amount is roughly 4.2 million vehicles more than the automaker recalled in the past five years combined.  

The ignition switch recall started Feb. 13 with 780,000 compact cars, including Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5s and Pontiac Pursuits from the 2005-2007 model years. GM expanded the recall Feb. 25 to include Saturn Ions and three other vehicles. The total then was 1.6 million vehicles worldwide.

Then, on March 28, GM again expanded the recall to include 971,000 vehicles from the 2008-2011 model years, which may have gotten the defective switches as replacement parts.

The nearly 2.6 million vehicles affected by the ignition switch recall include 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2007-2010 Saturn Skys, 2005-2011 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstices, and 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 models.

The problem can be caused by a heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads that can cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position and shut off the engine and electrical power. In the fatalities, the air bags did not inflate, but the engines did not shut off in all cases, GM said.

Repairs to fix the millions of vehicles connected to the recall are underway. GM has shipped thousands of kits consisting of ignition switches, ignition cylinders and key sets for the older model small cars.

Before the DOT announcement Friday, GM released a new statement, saying it is working with Delphi, which supplied the ignition switches, to accelerate its production plan of the new parts.

“Given that the ignition switch was in very limited production for several years, GM’s supplier, Delphi, increased production, pulled machinery out of storage, and found new suppliers for some of the part components,” wrote Boyer Friday on GM FastLane. “We are buying new machinery and equipment to make parts quickly.”

GM and Delphi are working to get two additional production lines up and running this summer.  

Michael Wayland covers the automotive industry for MLive. Email him at & follow him on Twitter @MikeWayland or Google+.


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