If you drive a 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt or a 2007 Pontiac G5, you may want to consider alternate transportation until you can visit the dealership that sold you the car.
Feb. 13, 2014, General Motors announced a recall on 778,562 Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles in North America, model years 2005 through 2007. A malfunction with the ignition switch can cause the engine to shut off and other electrical components to fail, like life-saving airbags.
Recall documents filed with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration show that the faulty parts were made in Mexico, and that 6,130 affected vehicles have been distributed within that country while 619,122 were distributed within the U.S. and 153,310 vehicles within Canada.
In total, GM is aware of almost 30 car accidents that involved faulty airbags that did not deploy when they were needed: Five frontal-impact collisions, six front-seat fatalities and 17 other incidents that resulted in serious injury or death. A company spokesperson noted that alcohol and seat belt usage may have also been factors in the outcomes of these crashes, though it is hard to dispute that had the airbags deployed at the appropriate time the consequences could have been less severe.
Consumers affected by the recall have been advised by GM to contact their dealer and bring the vehicle in for repairs, which will be done at no cost. Because even the slightest jarring movements can cause the ignition to switch off, GM has advised drivers to remove all non-essential items from their key chains until they are able to visit their dealer for repairs.
GM no longer manufactures either the Chevy Cobalt or the Pontiac G5.