Karma kills in the auto industry, people — it’s been seen a million times, and when you consider nearly a century ago GM got vicious with a scandal sending the monumental Chrysler Airflow to its grave, turnabout’s fair play as this GM ignition scandal could potentially make Volkswagen quiver in its boots over the current emissions scandal the German automaker’s facing. What happened to GM almost a decade ago? Very simply put, General Motors wasn’t careful, and the GM ignition scandal hit them hard.
The Gist of the GM Ignition Scandal
It was back in 2007 when Chevrolet ended up having to recall 98K vehicles for failing to meet federal safety standards. Nothing too serious, though. It’s when you get to the millions when the auto industry essentially says you’re screwed, and GM was far from that.
However, in 2010, a faulty power steering system caused the recall of 1.3MM vehicles. Without a doubt, GM was feeling the heat. Their recall numbers hit well above the million range, but would you believe that even that wasn’t enough poison? Try this:
The Chevy Cobalt could’ve easily buried the company if it wasn’t for some coughing up the costs and potentially contributing to the bankruptcy of one of America’s most prolific automakers. The Chevy Cobalt was infamous for the GM ignition scandal due to a faulty ignition switch. How important is this switch? Well, it only ensures that the car stays on. If something’s wrong with that switch, your car could easily just shut down while driving, deactivating your safety systems like the airbag and anti-lock brakes. You can see where we’re going with this….
Of course, like with all other scandals, the automaker knew about this GM ignition scandal way back in 2004, surmising that the cost completely outweighed the effort to remedy it. Big mistake. Although in 2006, GM finally decided to eat their own words and fix the situation resulting in 13 deaths, issuing out a 2.6MM recall of the Cobalt as well as the Pontiac G5.
Sadly, GM also faced a $10BB civil suit, a lawsuit they were able to ‘dodge’ to some degree due to the fact that the “old” bankrupt GM before the corporation restructured should be held responsible. Smart tactic.
Still, It’ll Be a Long Road for General Motors
Old GM or new doesn’t matter. History says a lot about lost money, lives and defective auto parts. Perhaps they should’ve been a little nicer to the Chrysler Airflow all those years back!