GM Recall Timeline

Update: 6/17/2014, 11:13 a.m.

GM is recalling an additional 3.16 million vehicles in the U.S. because the ignition switch could move out of the “run” position if the key is carrying extra weight or is jarred by an event, such as being bumped by a driver’s knee.

Visit our blog to learn more about the recall and which vehicles have been affected.

Update: 5/20/2014, 4:55 p.m.

Defect, flawed, failed and dangerous are just a few “judgment” words that GM managers did not want employees using in written communications about the problems with their vehicles. See the full list of wordshere.

Update: 5/17/2014, 2:47 p.m.

According to The Detroit News, General Motors is facing 79 lawsuits by customers who are demanding as much as $10 billion for the loss of vehicle value as a result of the ignition switch defect. A panel of judges is due to decide this month whether to combine the suits into one or not, and what federal court should handle them.

Update: 5/16/2014, 5:03 p.m.

U.S Regulators have disclosed details about the probe into the General Motors recall and revealed that GM coached workers into not using certain words during communications about the defect. Additionally, the probe found that the auto maker had information that should have allowed it to link the defective switches to faulty airbags back in 2009.

Update: 5/16/2014, 2:16 p.m.

The Department of Transportation has fined General Motors $35 million for delays in reporting flaws in ignition switches that led to the death of 13 people. The decision comes just one day after GM announced that they would be recalling 2.7 million vehicles that require a wide range of repairs, according to Bloomberg.

Update: 5/12/2014, 4:10 p.m.

According to Bloomberg, a wrongful death lawsuit tied to GM that was settled in September 2013 could be re-opened. A Georgia lawyer alleges that GM fraudulently withheld information about the defective ignition switch ahead of the settlement.

Update: 4/22/2014, 2:07 p.m.

A California lawsuit against General Motors Co. over the ignition switch defect (which is linked to 13 deaths) has been put on hold. According to Bloomberg, a federal judge put the suit on hold until a New York bankruptcy court can rule on whether some claims for compensation may be brought; a determination is necessary as these claims may be in violation of a court order related to GM’s reorganization in 2009.

Update: 4/18/2014, 5:07 p.m.

Victims of GM’s defective ignition switches who have filed civil lawsuits against the manufacturer may have little recourse in light of recent attempts by GM to stay all litigation in these cases. GM’s legal counsel has made the request so a determination can be made by a bankruptcy judge as to whether the lawsuits violate established bankruptcy law.

Attorneys for the victims argued that General Motors’ 2009 bankruptcy case should not be considered in current litigation, expressing concerns of public safety is the litigation does not continue. At the time of the report, no further information as to when a judge is expected to rule on either argument was available.

Update: 4/17/2014, 4:07 p.m.

Bloomberg reports that a U.S. District Judge has ruled that General Motors does not have to tell car owners that it is unsafe to drive their recalled vehicles until the defective ignition switch is fixed.

Soon after the original recall announcement, owners of a 2006 Chevy Cobalt sued GM for the lost value of their car and requested that GM issue a “park-it” order, which has now been denied.

Update: 4/16/2014, 3:33 p.m.

General Motors rejected an alternative ignition switch for cost reasons, according to a letter sent to GM’s CEO Mary Barra today by Joan Claybrook, the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

Ditlow and Claybrook are asking that General Motors make public all documents related to the decision to use the cheaper switch.

Update: 4/9/2014, 9:30 a.m.

According to the New York Times, federal safety regulators fined General Motors $28,000 because the auto manufacturer did not provide much of the information requested for an investigation into the recall. The deadline for providing the information was April 3; the agency fined GM $7,000 for each day it did not provide the information and will continue to do so each day until the

Update: 4/4/2014, 1:55 p.m.

General Motors retains Kenneth Feinberg as a consultant to explore and evaluate compensation options for families of accident victims.

Update: 4/4/2014, 12:50 p.m.

NBC News reports that General Motors Co. sent approximately 200,000 pages of documents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) answering approximately 65 percent of the 107 questions the NHTSA had.

Update: 4/2/2014, 4:27 p.m.

Mary Barra speaks in front of Senate investigative committee. Read more here.

Update: 4/1/2014, 4:45 p.m.

General Motors’ Mary Barra spoke on Capitol Hill during a House hearing on the ignition switch recall.

Update: 4/1/2014, 3:10 p.m.

General Motors CEO met with victims’ families and apologized for their suffering. Read more.

Update: 3/31/2014, 4:21 p.m.

Mary Barra’s written congressional testimony is made available on

Update: 3/31/2014, 10:45 a.m.

New information indicates that GM canceled a proposal to fix the ignition switch problem in 2005 due to the high tooling costs and prices of the parts needed. Read more.

Update: 3/28/2014

Update: 3/27/2014, 1:11 p.m.

GM notifies the NHTSA that the defective ignition switches may have been used as service replacement parts in other vehicles and recalls another 823,788 vehicles.

Update: 3/18/2014, 3:13 p.m.

Mary Barra, General Motors’ CEO, meets with journalists and reveals that she did not know about the defective GM cars until Jan. 31, 2014 – two weeks after she was named CEO of the company. Read more here.

Update: 3/18/2014, 12:11 p.m.

General Motors names Jeff Boyer their new vehicle safety chief effective immediately.

Update: 3/17/2014, 2:23 p.m.

NBC News announces that the auto manufacturer is being charged $300 million for the costs of the ignition problem recall, it is likely that the figure could actually be higher. Additionally, General Motors issued a second recall affecting 1.5 million commercial vans, crossover utility vehicles and luxury sedans.

Update: 3/15/2014, 9:22 a.m.

A class action lawsuit is filed in federal court in Texas by customers who allege that their vehicles lost value because of the ignition problems that led to the recall, reports NBC News.

Update: 3/12/2014, 5:05 p.m.

General Motors recommends that owners should only have the key and fob on the key ring to reduce the risk of ignition switch problems reports NBC News.

Update: 3/12/2014, 12:02 p.m.

A federal prosecutor launches a criminal investigation into the auto manufacturer’s handling of the vehicle defect and recall.

Update: 3/11/2014, 1:03 p.m.

A House Committee has given General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration two weeks to provide details about its recall of 1.6 million vehicles according to NBC News.

Update: 3/10/2014, 5:35 p.m.

Reuters reports that General Motors has hired two law firms to look into the recall.

Update: 2/28/2014, 10:04 a.m.

According to a timeline filed with the NHTSA, in 2004 one of GM’s own engineers knocked the vehicle out of the “run” position. Additionally, in 2005, an engineer proposed that GM redesign the key, but the idea was dropped.

GM was notified of at least one death by 2005 involving the failure of air bag deployment, however, engineers only found about the death in 2007 during a meeting with regulators at the NHTSA. By 2009 General Motors had opened an investigation into the ignition problem and a design change was implemented on 2010 cars.

In October 2013, General Motors spoke with Delphi, the auto parts manufacturer who had designed the ignition switch. Delphi produced papers showing that a GM engineer had signed off on changes to the ignition switch back in 2006.

Update: 2/27/2014, 4:42 p.m.

General Motors links a total of 13 deaths and 31 car crashes to the ignition switch problem. U.S regulators have begun investigating why it took GM so long to recall the affected vehicles.

Update: 2/25/2014, 10:55 a.m.

GM increases the number of vehicles being recalled to include an additional 748,024 vehicles including the Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky.

Update: 2/20/2014, 9:08 a.m.

According to depositions in a civil lawsuit against GM, the auto manufacturer knew about the ignition switch defect for nearly a decade. USA Today reports that a lawsuit over a 2010 fatal accident involving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The owner of the vehicle had taken her car into the dealer for ignition switch problems and had picked up her vehicle the day before the fatal crash.

Update: 2/13/2014, 2:44 p.m.

It is revealed that General Motors knew of at least six deaths in five Chevy Cobalt accidents in which the air bags failed to deploy as a result of the defective ignition switch. Additionally, GM knew of at least 22 accidents linked to the ignition switches, according to USA Today.


General Motors (GM) notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that they are recalling 619,000 vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch that could move the key out of the “run” position.