GM offers recall owners free loaner, $500 off new car – USA TODAY
General Motors is allowing dealers to offer free loaner cars to worried owners of the vehicles being recalled for a faulty ignition switch that can cause the engine to shut down and disable safety systems, including airbags.
That’s unusual, but not unique. Ford Motor, for example, provided loaners when it recalled 2013 Escape crossovers and 2013 Fusion midsize sedans for possible engine fires.
The ignition switch/airbag problem is blamed for 31 crashes and 12 deaths. The number of fatalities was cut by one that had been double-counted.
- Will give owners additional $500 discounts on new GM vehicles.
- Tow disabled recalled cars free.
A recalled-vehicle owner who wants the loaner can get it now and keep it until parts are available to fix the owner’s recalled vehicle.
In an advisory to dealers, GM says: “For situations where a customer may be concerned about operating their vehicle and is requesting alternate transportation, dealership service management is empowered to place the customer into a courtesy vehicle until parts are available to repair the vehicle.”
“Dealers should ensure all recall repairs are performed on a vehicle before it is loaned, rented or sold,” the automaker said in response to a query from USA TODAY about whether recall owners can be sure the vehicles they borrow aren’t themselves under recall.
The note to dealers is among documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website on Wednesday.
The note tells dealers that GM also is offering a $500 discount to owners who would rather buy or lease a new 2013 to 2015 Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. The offer is effective today and good through April 30, according to the documents.
It is in addition to any other discounts that are being offered.
The company told the dealers that the cash is “not a sales tool” and is aimed only “to assist those customers who are unhappy and may want to trade out of their vehicle or buy a new GM product.”
It told dealers that the cash must go to the customer “at the time of the transaction” and is in addition to any other offers or discounts.
According to auto-shopping site kbb.com, here are trade-in values for two of the older cars among those recalled, assuming they were driven 12,000 miles a year.
- 2005 Cobalt LS 4-door sedan, standard equipment, 108,000 miles: Trade-in value $,3020 (range $2,249 to $3,323).
- 2003 Saturn Ion 2 4-door sedan, standard equipment, 132,000 miles: Trade-in value $1,328 (range $1,025 to $1,630)
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GM said it “will not market or solicit owners” with the cash and asks dealers also to refrain from doing so.
The automaker says it won’t buy back recalled vehicles.
GM has recalled 1.62 million vehicles worldwide, 1.37 million in the U.S., for the switch defect. They are the 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-07 Saturn Ion, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.