General Motor Corporation (GM) is recalling more than 778,500 older-model Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 models to correct a condition that could cause the engine and other electrical components to unintentionally turn off.
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The vehicle models affected were manufactured between 2005 and 2007 and according to GM, the weight of a key ring or bad road conditions could jar the ignition switch out of the run position. When this occurs the vehicles engine may turn off as well as other electrical components such as the air bags.
GM was aware of five frontal-impact car accidents that led to six front-seat fatalities involving vehicles where the front airbags did not deploy. Although a company spokesperson noted that the accidents occurred off-road and at high speeds where the likelihood of serious or fatal injuries was high regardless of airbag deployment, the company still knew of other incidents. More than 15 other crashes involving some type of front-impact wherein the airbags did not deploy were also reported; victims suffered nonfatal injuries.
No date as to when affected vehicle owners will be notified has been set, however, GM is advising drivers to remove all nonessential items from their key rings. Additionally, drivers should wear their seatbelt to diminish the risk of injury should an accident occur.
More than 619,000 vehicles in the United States will be recalled while the remainder of affected vehicles are in Canada and Mexico.
This is the second recall for both these models. In 2010, GM recalled the vehicles due to an issue with loss of steering assist when the power assist motor failed. Loss of power steering made it difficult for owners to steer the vehicle and turn at low speeds. Hundreds of complaints were made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in regard to loss of power steering.