The recent recall has motivated General Motors to offer free loaner vehicles to owners of cars that have to be serviced to replace a possibly faulty ignition switch that has been causing engine and safety system failure. Not all companies provide such service in the face of a recall, but it was been done before. When 2013 Escapes and Fusion sedans were recalled for possible engine fires, Ford Motor Co. provided loaners for those vehicle owners.
The GM ignition switch/airbag failure has been blamed for 31 crashes and 12 deaths. In addition to free loaners, customers will be given a $500 discount on a new GM vehicle and will also tow the disabled recalled vehicles at no charge. Owners of recalled vehicles can get a loaner car now and use it until the parts are available to fix their vehicle.
“For situations where a customer may be concerned about operating their vehicle and is requesting alternate transportation, dealership service management is empowered to place the customer into a courtesy vehicle until parts are available to repair the vehicle,” stated GM in an advisory to auto dealers.
GM recently responded to a USA TODAY query regarding whether or not owners of recalled vehicles can be sure the loaned courtesy vehicles are not themselves under recall: “Dealers should ensure all repairs are performed on a vehicle before it is loaned, rented or sold.”
GM’s responses and promises to its customers are outlined in a note on the NHTSA website. The note describes the $500 discount for owners of recalled vehicles who would rather lease or buy a new vehicle, provided it is Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. The offer is currently good from now until April 30th. The discount will be applied in addition to any other offered discounts.
GM states that this is “not a sales tool” and is being offered to help unsatisfied owners of recalled vehicles who would rather trade out the recalled model for a brand new one. Dealers have been told that the cash must be given to the customer “at the time of the transaction,” and is to be given in addition to other offers in affect. Owners will not be solicited or marketed regarding the offer by GM or dealerships.
GM also will not be buying back any recalled vehicles. Models included are the 05-07 Cobalt, 07 Pontiac G5, 03-07 Saturn Ion and the 06-07 Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.
GM has recalled a total of 1.62 vehicles for defective switches. 1.37 million of them are in the U.S.