GM's ignition switch issues continue; Camaros recalled

About 512,000 Camaros from model years 2010-2014 are affected. The Camaro switches are completely different from those in the small cars with ignition switch problems.
By TOM KRISHER, Associated Press Published: June 14, 2014
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— Ignition switches once again are causing problems for General Motors.

This time the company is recalling nearly 512,000 Chevrolet Camaro muscle cars from the 2010 to 2014 model years because a driver’s knee can bump the key and knock the switch out of the “run” position, causing an engine stall.

That disables the power steering and brakes and could cause drivers to lose control.

GM said Friday that it knows of three crashes and four minor injuries from the problem. A spokesman said the air bags did not go off in the crashes, but GM hasn’t determined if the nondeployment was caused by the switches.

GM said the Camaro switches met its specifications — unlike those at the center of a recall of 2.6 million small cars. That problem has caused more than 50 crashes and at least 13 deaths.

Company spokesman Alan Adler said the problem occurs rarely and affects mainly drivers who are tall and sit close to the steering column so their knees can come in contact with the key.

The Camaro switches are completely different from those in the small cars with ignition switch problems. The Camaro switches, he said, were designed by a different person, and meet GM standards for the amount of force needed to turn the cars on and off.

Currently, the Camaro key is integrated like a switchblade into the Fob, which contains the buttons that let people electronically lock doors and open the trunk. GM will replace the switchblade key with a standard one, and a separate Fob attached by a ring so it will dangle from the key. Adler said with the change, if the driver’s knee hits the Fob, it doesn’t come in contact with the key.

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Latest recalls

Almost 512,000 Chevrolet Camaros from model years 2010 to 2014 are included to fix an ignition switch problem. GM says in rare cases, drivers who sit close to the steering column could bump the switchblade-style keys with their knees, causing switches to slip out of the run position, causing engine stalling and loss of power steering and brakes. GM says there have been three crashes and four minor injuries.

Nearly 29,000 Saab 9-3 convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years are affected. A cable in the driver’s seat belt tension system can break and belt won’t retract. Passenger belts on 2004 models will get a lifetime warranty. GM knows of no crashes or injuries.

About 22,000 Chevy Sonic subcompact cars from the 2012 model year with six-speed automatic transmissions and 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines affected. A transmission turbine shaft can fracture, GM said. If it happens in the first two gears, the transmission won’t be able to shift into higher gears. If it occurs in a higher gear, the car would coast until it slows to the point it can downshift into first or second. Transmissions can fail if driven for a long time with the problem, GM said. Dealers will replace the shaft. GM is aware of no crashes or injuries.

Almost 14,800 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedans affected. A wiring splice in driver’s door can rust and break, messing up circuits that control the door chime and control electric windows and sunroof. Dealers will inspect the wires and replace the splice if needed. No injuries reported.

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