As lawsuits begin piling up, General Motors (NYSE:GM) is setting out to alert the drivers affected by the massive 2.59 million unit ignition switch recall that its vehicles are still safe to drive, albeit with only the key itself in the ignition cylinder, and minus whatever else they may have dangling off their key rings, according to the results of 16 additional tests run by the company to ensure that the vehicles were safe under the right circumstances. GM will likely have a long way to go convincing the drivers that their cars are still road worthy — 13 people have died as a result of the issue — but it likely means that GM won’t have to order a stop driving order, which would be a big issue for all involved.
GM said that it actually removed parts from the faulty switch that would make it easier for a single key to slip out of the “run” position, but the switch did not malfunction in the additional tests, Reuters reported. The recent tests followed up a similar battery conducted by the automaker in March.
The “test results showed no incidents of unintended key rotation when only an empty key ring was attached to the ignition key,” the company said in its detailed report, which was made available on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
The problem, which was reportedly known of going back as far as 2001, involved the ignition switch moving from Run into Accessory mode while the car was in motion. Once the car is shut down, the power steering, power brakes, and airbags go with it, greatly increasing the risk of collisions, injury, and death.