SOUTHAVEN, Miss — As the fallout continues from the botched ignition switches at General Motors, WREG has learned that most of the recalled cars are still on the road.
It may seem hard to believe, given the worldwide attention the recall and subsequent investigation is getting. However, the On Your Side Investigators discovered that less than five percent of the recalled vehicles have been fixed.
Landers Automotive Group President Kent Ritchey showed WREG the ignition switches that are replacing the faulty ones. Ritchey noted the irony of how such a small part could cause such big problems.
“It’s hard to believe something that simple, but that’s what we’re talking about.”
When we visited his Buick GMC dealership in Southaven, a Saturn was in for repair.
Ritchey said, “It’s a fairly simple repair to do.”
Yet cars like that Saturn are slowly rolling in for repairs.
The ignition switch recall was announced in February, notices followed, and dealers began repairs in early April.
However, GM confirmed with WREG that of the 2.6 million cars recalled worldwide, only 113,000 have had repairs completed. That’s just more than four percent.
The reason could rest with both customers and the car maker.
“Hardest problem I told you a while ago is just getting people to come in,” explained Ritchey, who also added that his dealership has made repairs for customers who may not have even been affected by the recall, but were afraid to continue driving.
Besides the slow response from some owners, there also haven’t been enough parts to go around. Company officials blame the size of the recall, plus the fact that many of the affected vehicles are out of production.
GM says the maker, Delphi, is ramping up production but supply is “still tight.”
A spokesperson added, “Our goal is to repair all of the vehicles out there as quickly as possible, and we don’t want people to delay once parts are available for their car.”
Ritchey also urges customers who can get their cars repaired to do so.
“Let’s get that car off the road, and get it done. Don’t take a chance.”
GM wants customers affected by the recall to visit this page on the company’s website for more information.