General Motors recalls over faulty ignition switches

General Motors Co has announced a recall of 1.6 million vehicles due to defective ignition switches while it has caused a total of 12 deaths. While the company has this to contend with, it is also faced with constraints being faced in the spare parts market.

There have been reports that General Motors brand ignition switches manufactured by Delphi Automobiles bear the same part number. Part number for ignition switch of GM is 10392423 while that of Delphi is D14611 which is the defective part responsible for the recall. These switches are not defective in itself, but are identical to the GM parts and can only be differentiated when they are taken apart or when manufacturing history is delved into.

GM-ignition-switch-recallGeneral Motors purchases these ignition switches from Delphi which they then sell under their own brand. However, it is not yet determined whether these defective parts were sold to part dealers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the matter with GM offering their full support. It was in 2007 when a GM engineer permitted Delphi to change the ignition switch by making a tighter internal spring. However, this necessitated a change in part number which was not resorted to.

General Motors has explained the reasons for these defects stating that ignition switches failed which in turn turned off engines and disabled airbags. This occurred when the key was jostled in the ignition or when heavy key chains caused problems. GM is working along with Delphi to repair all recalled cars with the first replacement switches to be made available by April 7.