Consumer Reports has just published a new report pointing an accusatory finger at General Motors (GM). The organization claims that the automotive giant continued to sell defective keys for the Chevrolet Camaro for years after a recall was supposed to have put the problem to bed.
The keys were found to be defective in 2014. Their design, which had been in place since 2010, could cause the keys to make a rotation in the ignition switch as a result of contact with the driver’s knee. If it is knocked out of the “On” position, it could cause the engine to stop – in which case the airbags and the power steering would both cease to be functional.
According to Consumer Reports, GM is going ahead with a new recall related to the keys, this after an employee discovered that keys that still featured the same design were still available from the manufacturer as a replacement part. And even with the second recall, some keys remain in circulation as items sold by third-party vendors.
"It's outrageous that GM left thousands of its customers at risk for more than five years after its ignition-switch recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should get to the bottom of why this wasn't discovered or reported sooner. If GM didn't follow the law, NHTSA should issue steep fines to deter future misconduct."
- William Wallace, Consumer Reports safety policy manager
A General Motors spokesperson pointed out that the company is not aware of any accidents, injuries or deaths related to the defective keys.
The initial recall addressing the key problem as part of a major campaign to do with ignitions, which addressed a different problem but which had the same results as with the Camaro. That issue resulted in just over 100 deaths in all at the time.