Updated 08:00 AM EST, Tue, Jan 18, 2022

GM Recalls Approximately 3.2 Million Cars for Key Defect

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In another stunning set back, General Motors announced six additional recalls on Monday. Under one of the new recalls, GM mandates that over three million autos be returned due to a key issue that can cause engines to shut off without warning, should the keys bear too much weight or be struck in some way. 

According to CBS News, the "switches could rotate out of 'run' if the key has excess weight and the car 'experiences some jarring event.'" Examples given included driving over a pothole or over railroad tracks. The result is the engine turning off suddenly, which would also turn off the power steering and mean potential loss of control of the vehicle.

Additional reporting by NBC News stated this new recall is coming just four months after GM earlier stated it would be replacing malfunctioning ignition switches in over 2.6 million other autos. The Chevrolet Camaro was also recalled a few days prior "because the design of the key could cause the car to shut off if bumped by a driver's knee," said NBC.

This latest recall is similar to issue with the Camaro in that it also relates to a malfunctioning key design rather than an ignition issue, as has been the case with recalls before. Still, the end result could be equally disastrous if a vehicle were to shut off and lose power to its steering, brakes and airbags. And according to GM, that is exactly what could happen. 

The other five recalls issued Monday will affect approximately 166,000 vehicles, with problems ranging from drive shafts to power steering hoses and automatic transmission shifter cables.

The automaker has acknowledged eight crashes associated with this latest "inadvertent shut-off problem," according to NBC. These crashes are in addition to 13 fatalities and numerous collisions directly resulting from the issues that prompted the recall in February.

The fix for this latest issue is for GM to redesign or simply replace the faulty keys. Dealers will install parts to the cars' keys which will "change the hole from a slot to a circle," said CBS.

GM is advising owners of the affected cars to take off any and all additional items from their keychains and only operate their vehicles with just the starter key in the ignition slot. 

The car models included in the latest recall are:

2005 to 2009 Buick Lacrosse

2006 to 2014 Chevrolet Impala

2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville

2004 to 2011 Cadillac DTS

2006 to 2011 Buick Lucerne

2004 to 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS

2006 to 2011 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

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