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GM recall and safety advice

Gates, N.Y. --- More than 2.6 million General Motors vehicles are being recalled for a faulty ignition switch and yet car experts point out the problem serves as a good reminder to all drivers. There are some things you can do that will limit the chances your key falls loose from the ignition even if your vehicle isnt on a recall list.

The recall issue deals with power suddenly being cut to the vehicle. The loss to safety systems such as power steering could lead to crashes. The faulty systems are already being blamed for more than a dozen deaths and many more crashes.

Tony Ardillo from Gates Automotive Center explained that he often sees people with key chains that hang low from the ignition and are weighted down by many more keys or bottle openers or trinkets. Ardillo said that extra weight can wear on the key and over time the key threads. It also can be an issue when driving over bumps or if the drivers knee routinely rubs against the dangling keys.

"You're hitting bumps it is bouncing, your knee could get close to it and hit it and a lot of people have the lanyards that run down all the way past your leg which could be a problem because you're moving your leg back and forth and it could shut the ignition off, explained Ardillo while then demonstrating with a light tug on the key chain. "What you're worried about is if it accidentally goes like that and shuts the ignition off.

On Capitol Hill the new CEO of General Motors, Marry Barra, was grilled by lawmakers who demand answers about who knew what and when. Barra came forward publicly and repeatedly to apologize and she promised transparency while also appointing top lawyers to lead an investigation into the companys past.

"Many companies unfortunately will sort of backtrack from making that forceful we apologize to all of you for what we've caused and so forth, I think she did that very nicely and very professionally and I think people accept that, explained University of Rochester Simon School of Business professor George Cook. Cook also spent ten years working as a top executive for Ford.

Some documents indicate that General Motors was warned about potential safety hazards as far back as 2001. Cook believes GM will have to work hard to regain consumer confidence and taxpayer trust with this recall issue surfacing just a few years removed from a multi-billion dollar government bailout.

"I think the taxpayer's got a right to say - Do I now trust GM? Will I buy a GM car? Do I have negative thoughts in the back of my mind? said Cook. And it was my money, because it was tax money that bailed them out, and if they knew ahead of time why didn't they tell us the truth. That is going to be in some people's minds.

In calls to some local General Motors dealers 13WHAM was told that most customers are contacting service departments with questions about the key ignition issue. Callers can determine if their vehicle is on the recall list by looking up their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) online, in a phone call to GM, or by checking it a local dealer.

If their car is on the recall list and a driver feels unsafe local dealers will provide that customer with a rental car until parts arrive and can be replaced. Those drivers will also be considered a priority when replacement parts arrive next week.

While drivers of these cars should get a letter notifying them of the recall they do not have to necessarily wait for that notification. Even if you bought your car used the recall letter distribution list should still find you as it tracks down recalled customers based on the cars title that is on file with the state.

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Washington Times