GM recommends light key rings after recall

Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:16pm EDT
 
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By Ben Klayman, Richard Cowan and Eric Beech

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) said on Wednesday that even after the vehicles in its ignition-switch recall are repaired, owners should avoid weighing down their key rings with anything more than the key and fob.

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said a Senate subcommittee plans to hold a hearing in early April on GM's recall last month of more than 1.6 million vehicles with the faulty ignition switches which have been linked to 12 deaths. Most of the affected cars were sold in the United States.

GM became aware of the problem a decade ago.

"We have to get to the bottom of this," said McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. "We need to find out who dropped ball and put millions of Americans at risk."

GM has been telling owners affected by the recall that until the repairs are made only the key should be on the key ring. That remains largely the case after the fix as well, according to a document filed with U.S. safety regulators.

"We recommend that customers only utilize the key, key ring and key fob (if equipped) that came with the vehicle," GM said in the document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was in response to a question about whether customers can put their heavy key ring back on after the repair is completed.

A GM spokesman said after the repair is completed, there is no danger of the problem reoccurring. Asked why GM made this recommendation, he added that no ignition switch is safe from being moved from the "run" position if the key chains are too heavy or bulky.

Automotive research firm Edmunds.com said while there is anecdotal evidence owners should avoid too much weight on their key rings, there is no industry standard language on that subject.   Continued...

 
The General Motors world headquarters is seen in downtown Detroit, Michigan May 31, 2009. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook