Skip to comments.GM switch complaints began 17 years ago, long before Cobalt
Posted on 07/05/2014 5:13:15 PM PDT by Lorianne
General Motors car owners have been complaining to dealers about defective ignition switches since 1997, years before the automaker launched the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars with faulty switches linked to at least 13 deaths.
GM this week expanded its recall of cars with switch issues by more than 8 million, but it did not indicate when it first learned of problems in cars including the 1997 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2000 Chevrolet Impala.
A Reuters review of a consumer complaints database maintained by U.S. safety regulators showed that GM dealers were told of switch-related defects almost as soon as the Malibu was put on the market, and that many could not fix the defects.
Early issues included keys that either stuck in the ignition or could be pulled out while the vehicle was running, as well as ignition switches that failed to start the engine or apparently caused the engine to stall.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Oh heck, my family had a ‘72 Impala and a ‘94 Caprice with bad ignition switches. (And no, we did not use heavy key chains)
Yep. Happened to my 1989 Oldsmobile a few months ago. The ignition failure caused the power steering and power brakes to go out as well, while riding along in my merry Oldsmobile.
A friend of mine had a dyno and tune up shop 25 years ago and he ran into this key problem on all makes!!!!
Stupid broads hangng all their earthly belongings on their keys.
Pulling keys out while the vehicle was running was a feature, not a defect, on GM cars in the late 70s. They were so difficult to start, I would see owners pull the keys out and lock and leave the car running while running quick errands. Catalytic converters and later electron ignitions solved a lot of those problems.
You mean like cars were designed for decades (the ones that didn't simply have pushbuttons)? ONOZ! Whatever shall we do??
I had an ignition switch in a 96 Saturn that went bad. Can I sue? The car thought the switch was on, but the accessories circuit was off. The computer did not like that one bit. The mechanic said he hardly ever read out as many error codes as he got on mine.
“Oh heck, my family had a 72 Impala”
Similar here - and I remember ripping out the keys with the engine running. No big deal unless you were stupid enough to lock the wheel too.
The manager at the garage I used mentioned this Thursday, said people have been paying for this for years, thinking it was just their one vehicle. Thanks Lorianne.
I remember when my parents complained about the “new” locking style ignition/steering column.
the difference is that when you have a car with electric steering vs engine mounted, when the ignition switch goes OFF, there is NO ABILITY TO STEER, vs just harder to steer.
Same issue with “push to start” and other “advanced” systems on today’s cars.
I owned a used 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It had about 98,000 miles on it when it died. It liked to lean to the left. I noticed many of the same model from those years tended to do so.
One day the plastic gear broke a few teeth that had the timing chain on it. I managed to get it over to the side of the freeway but boy was it hard steering it while the car coasted to a stop.
Remember how few miles the cars got in the old days?
My 1992 Honda Accord lasted to 332,373 miles. If it was better taken care of, it probably would still be running. My newish 2003 Honda runs like brand new. I bought it recently at 154,000 miles. Neither car makes a sound after you shut it off. My Olds Delta 88 however sounded like a steam engine when I would go as little as a mile.
GM has not learned much. Save .57 cents per ignition switch and now they have to recall 28 million cars.
Exactly what happened to me. And the brakes were hard to work too.
Luckily when the car cut out, there were no cars near me, and there was a side street I could coast into and go into the curb at a good angle which helped me stop.
My car is a 1989 Olds Regency Brougham with 58,000 miles. At that age, the ignition failure probably had nothing to do with GM's current problems, but it makes you think.
I figure I'll go for a Honda Civic the next time I get a car. GM unfortunately is clueless.
Think of all the headaches they could have saved by doing like Nissan. You insert a fob into the dash and then push a start button. No keylock switch that fails due to high number of keys.