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Local Dealers Prepare For GM Recall

April 4, 2014, 10:00 PM by Angela Kennecke

Local Dealers Prepare For GM Recall

If you're the owner of a General Motors vehicle and it's part of the massive recall, you should be getting a notice from the company as early as this weekend.

Independent mechanic Tom Broadbent with Airway Auto Service has been studying the faulty ignition switch on GM vehicles. The switches can accidentally turn off if jostled or attached to a heavy key ring.

"You put it in the ignition like this; you've got all this weight hanging on the key pulling it back to the "off" position," Broadbent said.

The problem has been traced to a small part that measures just over four-tenths of an inch.  GM is sending out recall notices tomorrow. Sioux Falls GM Dealer, Billion Automotive, is preparing for the calls to start coming in. 

"It will not be fixed on Monday. We're going to start the process on Monday. Once that process starts we’ll have a better idea of how quickly they can get the car in and get it repaired," Chad Radel, General Manager of Billion Automotive said.

Billion will take owner information and VIN numbers over the phone or at any of its GM Service Centers and then order the part.  

But since there have been 13 deaths and 31 crashes linked to the problem, some are putting pressure on General Motors to tell owners of the recalled vehicles that they're unsafe and should be parked immediately.

"That's something we're referring back to the GM website and GM customer line because we haven't been given the answers to that particular question yet," Radel said.

"To me it looks like if you just got rid of the weight off your keys you'd be safer until they replaced the ignition switch," Broadbent said.

Billion Automotive is expecting as many as 40 recalled vehicles could begin coming into this service shop come Monday, but it's hard to know just how many of those recalled vehicles are in our area.

"Everybody's heard what the national numbers are, but in a local area, we're not sure how many there are, but we do know one thing, that we will get every one that's out there taken care of," Radel said.

Billion expects that to take up to six months. 

You don't have to wait for GM to contact you to see if your vehicle is part of the recall. You can type your VIN into GM's website.

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