In Recalled GM Vehicles, Key Could Be Removed in Wrong Gear

Warren, Mich. — August 11, 2016 — According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents, a new GM recall addresses ignition concerns in some vehicles. The Part 573 Safety Recall Report said that approximately 2 percent of 7,620 vehicles are estimated to have this defect.

Altogether, the impacted model years encompass a wide range, from 2010 to 2017. The earliest collective production date is September 28, 2009 and the latest is May 27, 2016. The latter of these applies to the latest recalled model, the 2017 Buick Verano. Buick, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles are all included in the recall.

In these vehicles, the ignition system could allow users to remove the keys. This not only represents a possible Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard violation, but it also could put the car and any occupants in danger if the driver removes the key without first engaging the parking brake or putting the vehicle in park.

Unlike with many recalls, the Part 573 Report said that this outcome is also one of the ways to identify that the issue is present: If the key can be taken out while a different gear is in use, the recall may apply. This problem seems to stem from Electronic Park Lock damage in some steering column assemblies.

According to the report, dealers will inspect and replace the lock housing. A July 2016 bulletin updated the original response method, which includes nine steps. Three of these involve a repeated testing of the ignition key and transmission. This is supposed to help dealers see whether or not they can remove the key in gears aside from park. If the vehicle contains the defect, dealers are instructed to hold it and keep it from further sale.

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