General Motors has expanded its ignition switch recall yet again. Originally announced on Feb. 10, the recall was expanded on Feb. 25 and most recently on March 27, bringing the total number of recalled cars to 2,190,934. All model years of the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, Pontiac G5 and Solstice as well as Saturn Ion and Sky are now affected by the recall.
The car recall is the result of a defective ignition switch that could result in the key shifting to the "off" or "accessory" position while the car is in operation. If this occurs, the engine, many of the electrical components of the car and the air bags may turn off, resulting in an accident.
The most recent expansion of the recall is the result of GM's finding that the faulty ignition switches may have been used as replacement parts on other cars. GM is extending the recall now "out of an abundance of caution," CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
As a result of the recall, the Justice Department is investigating GM's bankruptcy filing in 2009 to determine possible bankruptcy fraud. "If GM concealed these issues before their 2009 bankruptcy filing, the company might have to answer to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for any nondisclosure," explained attorney Aaron Hammer of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer, which specializes in bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors' rights.
GM is advising owners of recalled cars to use their ignition key alone, with nothing else on the key ring, until a dealer can complete the recall repair.
Are you a GM car owner? Are you worried about the car recall?
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.