CALGARY- They’ve been warned that they need their ignition switches replaced, but it turns out some GM vehicle owners aren’t being compensated for the repairs.
An official recall notice was issued in February, but many owners are still waiting for the manufacturer to replace them.
Calgary’s Annette Liedtke owns a 2005 Saturn Ion, and says her engine shut down while she was driving last December. She replaced the battery and alternator, before technicians told her the ignition switch was defective. Since GM didn’t have the part in, she went to an independent shop—but now, the automaker refuses to pay her back.
“I was told they will not cover it because I did not take it to GM to get diagnosed in the first place, and I said ‘you guys were not available, you did not have the part,’” Liedtke explains. “It was Christmas time, I had to get it fixed ASAP.”
Ironically, she received a letter in March from GM confirming her vehicle was part of the recall, but they would only cover part of the original repair bill.
It turns out there are few options for frustrated consumers.
“Unfortunately there is nobody on your side,” says George Iny from the Automobile Protection Association. “Transport Canada is totally or mostly absent on the issue of recall compliance. It doesn’t get a lot of attention.”
Many vehicle owners affected by the recall are still waiting for parts, but there are no time limits on when manufacturers have to complete repairs.