Local News

Local dealership prepared for automobile recall

SEBRING - With more than 2 million General Motors Corp. cars being recalled nationally, the Alan J. Chevrolet Buick Cadillac Service Department is prepared for the extra work, a spokesman said.

Don Elwell, director of marketing and public relations, said they expect to get the parts to make the repairs required by the recall within the next few days. After that, they will notify customers and set up appointments, he said.

"Once we have the parts, it will be very quick," Elwell said.

He said there have been much larger recalls of other vehicles in the past, such as Toyotas, when some customers claimed that unexpected acceleration occurred.

The GMC recall involves ignition switches that can possibly be affected by a bump on the road or a heavy keychain that causes the switch to move and possibly shut off. And that can cause the power steering and power brakes to shut off, as well resulting in air bags that don't deploy, the GMC web site said.

"If the ignition switch is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury or fatality," the company said.

Although there have been claims that the faulty switches have resulted in deaths, Elwell said, there's been no cases in Highlands County where someone pointed to problems like that.

Dennis Albers, assistant service manager with Alan Jay Chevrolet, said Alan Jay is advising that customers only put their ignition key into the ignition, as opposed to having the key on a key chain with other keys.

"We're probably getting 20 calls a day," Albers said.

Elwell said Alan Jay wants to help every customer as soon as possible once the parts arrive.

"We will have extra staff available if necessary," Elwell said, adding that additional technicians will be put to work to handle the load of vehicles coming for recall fixes.

"We don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable," he said.

Cars slated for recall include all 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5; 2003-2007 Saturn Ion; 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR; 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada); 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice; and 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles.

On March 28, the recall was expanded to include the following vehicles - 2008 - 2010 Pontiac Solstice and G5; 2008-2010 Saturn Sky; 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt; and 2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR, according to the GMC web site.

Some families are contending that GMC should be prosecuted, claiming that GMC knew about the problems earlier, according to the Associated Press. Those families contend that the faulty ignition switch resulted in a family member dying, the article said.

GMC has acknowledged that engineers submitted proposals to fix the switches as early as 2004, the report states.


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