Bay area GM dealers ready for recall - WRBL

Bay area GM dealers ready for recall

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) - Service departments at Chevy and other General Motors-related dealerships will be a little busier in the coming weeks.

That includes Dimmitt Chevrolet in Clearwater, where technicians are ready to install free replacement ignition switches on older Cobalts, HHRs and other recalled GM vehicles.

Dimmitt General Manager Sam Pilato says it’s a simple little part that needs to be replaced. Those parts are on order; in fact 48,000 of them have been released for shipment, says Pilato.

NBC News reports GM knew about the defective switch eight years ago, then quietly changed its design to prevent it from shutting down the engine.

The Melton family blames the switch for the death of their daughter, Brooke.  Currently, GM cites twelve deaths related to the ignition switch problem.

(Questions & answers about the GM recall)

GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, is not hiding from the problem.

“After all something went terribly wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened,” she said.

At Dimmitt Chevrolet, the general manager offered a quick fix for customers driving recalled models.

“You should take the weight off of the key chain… in other words, use only the ignition key because the few failures that we've had have been because of undo weight on the ignition switch itself,” said Pilato.

Still concerned? GM will put you in a new Chevy loaner until the parts arrive later this month, or early April.

“I have not heard of any other company that had gone out and given loaner cars until the parts arrive for them to be able to get ‘em repaired,” said Dimmitt service manager David Rutter.

(GM offering loaner cars, cash to small car owners affected by recall)

With a new attitude at GM, local dealers hope customers will come to them for help.

Besides the ignition switch recall, GM is also recalling 1.5 million vehicles, mostly SUVs for a problem with side airbags. Both fixes take about 25 minutes.

(Another GM recall: 1.18M SUVs for airbag issue)

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