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Millions of Americans are still driving their recalled General Motors vehicles, faulty ignition switches and all.
It’s been four months since GM announced the first recall for a faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to dozens of accidents and at least 13 deaths. But so far, just 7 percent of those 2.6 million recalled vehicles have been repaired, according to The Associated Press.
A backlog in parts orders is to blame. Delphi Corp. is producing the switches, but it’s been a slow process because the part had been discontinued for several years, The New York Times said. Delphi recently increased its production line from one to two, with a third line expected to start soon. GM anticipates all repairs should be completed by October.
Meanwhile, owners of the recalled GM cars are getting frustrated with the waiting game. According to the Times:
“I call the dealership once a week,” said Lauren Sines of Woodstock, Ga., who is limiting the distances she drives her 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt — four miles, round trip, to the veterinary clinic where she works on weekdays — until the car is fixed. “What can they say? They’re waiting, too.”
For customers unwilling to drive their recalled vehicles, GM has provided free rental cars. So far nearly 67,000 cars have been loaned out, AP said.
It’s understandable that many people don’t want to drive their recalled cars, considering the ignition switches can slip from “run” to “accessory,” effectively shutting off the engine. The AP said:
That shuts off the power steering and power brakes, making cars harder to control. It also disables the air bags, which won’t inflate in a crash.
On Monday, the car company announced it is recalling 3.36 million more cars due to faulty ignition switches. GM has issued 44 North American recalls so far this year for a variety of problems, involving more than 17 million vehicles, CBS MoneyWatch says.
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