DETROIT - General Motors (GM) announced Thursday that another part needs to be repaired in the 2.2 million older small cars already being recalled for an ignition switch defect.
GM says it will replace ignition lock cylinders on the cars. Right now, drivers can remove the key while the engine is still running, which could lead to a roll-away or crash causing pedestrian or occupant injuries. GM knows of one roll-away crash that occurred in a parking lot and resulted in an injury.
The recall affects the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, Saturn Ion and Sky, and Pontiac Solstice and G5 from the 2003 and 2011 model years. The same cars were recalled for defective ignition switches that can cause sudden stalling.
GM also said it expects to take a $1.3 billion charge related to the costs of the recall in the first quarter. This is an increase from the $750 million charge the company announced on March 31. GM's stock price moved higher after the announcement to $33.75.
GM links 13 deaths to that issue, which is under investigation by the U.S. government. The company warns users that until recall repairs are made, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key. If there is a key fob, it also should be removed from the key ring.
GM said Thursday that it has suspended two engineers with pay, the first internal disciplinary action taken by the automaker related to the ignition-switch recall.
The move stems from GM's internal investigation of the matter. At congressional hearings last week, lawmakers alleged that at least one company engineer tried to cover up the switch problem. GM CEO Mary Barra promised action against anyone deemed to have acted inappropriately.
In recent testimony before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel, GM chief executive Mary Barra said the company has "civic responsibilities as well as legal responsibilities," hinting that the automaker is considering victim compensation.