MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Nearly 30 deaths have been tied to General Motors' faulty ignition switch problems. Another 25 people were found eligible for compensations for serious injuries. Now, GM is heading to Facebook to inform people to get their cars fixed.
The auto maker recalled 2.6 million vehicles for this faulty switch, but says that less than half of the owners have gotten the problem fixed. And about one-third of those who have not gotten it replaced are driving around with kids in the car. On Facebook, GM is urging drivers to take their car in to their dealer, because the longer you drive with a faulty ignition switch, the longer you are putting your family in danger.
Gary Freeman with C&G Auto says that people are pushing the recall off thinking, "Oh, I can do it tomorrow." But that is risky. Freeman says the problem with the ignition switch is that it is unpredictable when it can jar out of place and turn your engine off.
"It really is important," says Freeman. "If you just think of your car stopping while going down the road without any warning. Let's say you're turning. Oncoming traffic can be a problem. It could cause a severe accident."
Jeff Foxworth, the service director with Hyatt Buick GMC, says when all of this first came to light with the faulty ignition switch, they were bombarded with people trying to get the switch fixed. But at that point there wasn't enough product to get everyone's replaced. Now, he says they have the supplies in, but not a lot of people are coming to get things fixed.
Many people just toss the recall notices out when they come in the mail. But every recall needs to be taken seriously, because it could be life threatening. But if you are concerned that something is wrong with your car and you never got a recall notice, you can easily check. Type your 17 digit vin number into any search engine. You can find the vin number in the bottom left corner of your windshield or in the driver's side door frame. That number will give you all the information related to your vehicle including when it was made, safety precautions and current or past recalls. And if you find out you already paid to have work done without knowing it was under recall, you can get reimbursed.
"You get a recall and the problem has already been resolved, before you knew there was a recall or before there was a recall," says Freeman. "The manufacturer will most of the time reimburse you if you provide them proof that the repair has been done, done by a licensed facility. And that specific problem was addressed and corrected."
Foxworth says that if you have a vehicle, new or old, and its under a recall, call the dealership first. The dealer will make sure they have the product you need in stock, then come in as soon as possible to get it taken care of. When it comes to the ignition switches, the longer you wait, the greater the chance the dealer will use the switch you requested for someone else who comes in first. And to replace the ignition switch only takes a couple hours. Remember you're never out any money, because these recall repairs are completely free.