General Motors has announced that it is offering a $500 cash allowance toward the purchase or lease of a new car to all of the 1.37 million U.S. owners of cars recalled for a faulty ignition switch. The carmaker is also advising dealers to offer free loaner cars to concerned customers.
GM said the cash offer qualifies for any 2013-2015 model year Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. In a March 4 notice to dealers, posted on March 12 on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, GM said it will not market or solicit owners using this allowance.
“We ask that you not market to or solicit these customers either. This allowance is not a sales tool; it is to be used to help customers in need of assistance,” GM told its dealers.
As for the loaner cars, GM said customers who request a loaner will be able to use it until their car is fixed and added it would pay to have vehicles towed to the dealership for those who request it.
GM also announced that it will begin around April 7 to make repairs to the recalled vehicles, which include 2005-07 Chevy Cobalts, 2007 Pontiac G5s, 2003-07 Saturn Ions, 2006-07 Chevy HHRs and the 2007 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.
GM is facing a Congressional probe and U.S. Justice Department investigation into its handling of the global recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches, which have been linked to 12 deaths, not 13 as GM previously cited.
Interestingly, GM is reportedly not liable for incidents that occurred before its July 2009 bankruptcy. It will be a challenge to explain this to the victims’ families, as most of the 12 deaths linked to the recall happened before 2009.
By Dan Mihalascu
Story References: Automotive News