General Motors is recalling more than half a million Chevrolet Camaros because their key can suddenly turn off the ignition when bumped and shut the engine — a problem similar to the defect that led the automaker to recall millions of small cars this year.
The recall, one of several announced Friday, covers about 510,000 Camaros worldwide from the 2010 to 2014 model years.
GM said that a driver’s knee could bump the key fob, inadvertently causing the ignition lock cylinder to switch out of the “run” position. The key is released from the fob, like a switchblade, by pushing a small button. The turning of the key, GM said, could result in a “reduction or loss of power.” The automaker said that the problem would most likely affect drivers sitting close to the steering column.
The automaker said it was aware of three crashes and four injuries that may be related to the defect in the Camaros.
GM said the Camaro’s switch was of a different design than the faulty ignition switch in older Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small cars that GM has linked to 13 deaths and 54 crashes.
“The Camaro ignition system meets all GM engineering specifications and is unrelated to the ignition system used in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars included in the ignition switch recall,” GM said in a statement.
GM said that it found the problem during internal testing it conducted after the 2.6 million-vehicle ignition switch recall this year, and that it would fix the problem by replacing the key with a type where the fob is separate from the key, ostensibly reducing its mass.
Three other recalls cover 28,789 Saab 9-3 convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years, 21,567 Chevrolet Sonic compacts from the 2012 model year and 14,765 Buick LaCrosse sedans from the 2014 model year.
A defective automatic seatbelt tensioner is the cause of GM’s recall of Saab convertibles. GM said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.
The turbine shaft in the transmissions of 2012 Chevrolet Sonics equipped with 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engines and 6-speed automatic transmissions could break, making third through sixth gears inoperable. The automaker said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.
The fourth recall is for a potentially defective wiring splice in the driver’s-side doors of some 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedans. The automaker said it was not aware of any accidents, injuries or thefts related to the defect.