General Motors is recalling an additional 824,000 vehicles with faulty ignition switches.
About 90,000 defective parts were used to repair older vehicles before they were recalled in February, the company said in a press release issued Friday evening.
The original recall of 1.6 million cars extended through the 2007 model year.
The embattled automaker said it will replace ignition switches in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the United States because faulty ignition switches may have been used to repair the vehicles.
“We are taking no chances with safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn’t practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years.”
“We are going to provide our customers with the peace of mind they deserve and expect by getting the new switches into all the vehicles,” Barra said.
Owners who may have had a defective part installed will receive a letter the week of April 21, and GM is instructing dealers to replace the ignition switches free of charge, as the parts become available.
The company said it would begin notifying dealers, distributors and parts customers on March 31.
Until the parts can be replaces, GM is urging drivers of the recalled cars to remove all items from their key rings to reduce the liklihood of the ignition slipping from the “run” to the “accessory” or “off” position.
The ignition switches have been linked to 12 deaths, but the company said it is unaware of any fatalities with the newest group of recalled cars.
While significant, a 2.4 million-vehicle recall is far from the biggest in the history of the auto industry. In 1996, Ford recalled 7.9 million cars for a faulty ignition switch that caused fires.