GM prods recall holdouts with gift cards – USA TODAY
General Motors is offering $25 gift cards to try to entice recall holdouts to get their ignition switches fixed by Jan. 1.
Letters about the incentive should be in owners’ hands this week, says GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney. Some owners got e-mails, too.
The initial deadline was Dec. 1, but Carney says dealers complained they couldn’t do the repairs that fast, so it was pushed back to Jan. 1. GM says it has all the replacement ignition parts it needs to finish the recall.
“Now that we have ample parts we want to create a sense of urgency and motivation to get the cars repaired, because we’re concerned about their safety,” Carney says.
Owners can choose a card good at one of seven merchants: Amazon, AMC Theaters, Appleby’s, Bass Pro Shops, Red Robin, Starbucks, Walmart. GM says owners will get codes to redeem for the gift cards once their dealers report the work is done.
The switch can move inadvertently out of “run,” which kills the engine, shutting off power assist to steering and brakes and disabling air bags.
RECALL LOOK-UP : Government site to see if your car is recalled
GM linked 13 deaths to the problem but always said the total could rise. A victims’ compensation fund established by GM but administered independently has approved payment for 30 deaths, out of 196 fatality claims, as of Wednesday night.
GM earlier estimated the number of potentially defective vehicles at 2.59 million, but now says the total is 2.36 million. The others have been scrapped or aren’t registered.
In the U.S., the total is 1.96 million, of which 884,484, or 45%, remain to be repaired. GM sent letters beginning last week to 705,000 individual owners — fleets still operate some of the cars and aren’t eligible for the gift cards.
Typically, 10% to 20% of recalled vehicles go unfixed after 18 months.
Automakers are required to send quarterly reminders for at least 18 months to registered owners of vehicles not yet fixed.
The recalled models are now-discontinued small cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion models. They can be repaired at any GM dealership, the automaker says.