General Motors will more than double the size of a recall issued this month for an ignition switch defect in some of its small cars, the automaker said in a news release Tuesday. The expansion brings the number of vehicles covered by the recall to nearly 1.4 million in the United States.
The recall is aimed at vehicles with ignition switches that could inadvertently turn off the engine and vehicle electrical system – disabling the air bags – if the ignition key is jarred or the vehicle’s operator has a heavy key ring attached to it.
G.M. said in the release that it was now aware of the deaths of 13 front-seat occupants in crashes where the front air bags did not deploy.
G.M. had previously recalled about 619,000 vehicles in the United States, including Chevrolet Cobalts from the 2005-7 model years and 2007 Pontiac G5 models. Now the automaker is adding 2003-7 Saturn Ions, 2006-7 Chevrolet HHRs and 2006-7 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models.
All those models were mentioned in a 2006 technical service bulletin sent to dealers advising them of the problem.