While unrelated to the ignition-switch scandal that’s been blamed for the deaths of at least 124 people, General Motors has issued another switch-related recall for late-model trucks and SUVs.
GM is recalling 3073 vehicles for ignition switches that can be hard to turn and become stuck with their keys in the run position. According to GM, the lock actuator gear has “an outer diameter that exceeds specifications” and the sticking problem is more likely when cabin temperatures are “higher.” At that point, if the vehicle goes over a bump or the interior cools, the key can then slide to the accessory position, thereby shutting down the entire car and all of its passive safety systems (like airbags). Affected models include 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500s and GMC Sierra 1500s, certain 2015 HD versions of the Silverado and Sierra, and the 2015 Suburbanand Tahoe. According to the Detroit Free Press, a GM employee reported the defect under the company’s “Speak Up For Safety” program initiated in April 2014, just two months after the first ignition-switch recall.
GM says it will replace the ignition lock housing, but not the entire switch. It also did not include the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, mechanical twins to the Tahoe and Suburban, in the action. Since the start of 2014, GM has recalled nearly 12.6 million cars in the U.S. for ignition-related defects, most of which involve cars randomly shutting off. GM has only been implicated by the government for the initial 2.2 million cars and recently settled with a U.S. Attorney’s office for $900 million, or less than what Toyota paid for a defect many largely attributed to driver error.