Friday, July 18, 2014

Total Recall

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here, but I own a 2002 Chevy Impala. Twelve years old and it still runs okay, so I'm in no hurry to replace it right away. Yeah, now I remember mentioning the windshield wiper problem a few posts back.

Anyway, GM has been doing a significant amount of recalls for their vehicles lately and the wife has been pestering me to check to see if ours is on the list. So I got online yesterday and did some looking around and found that, sure enough, our car is among those being recalled.

The recall is being done due to an ignition switch problem. You may have read about it. GM has admitted that if there is a downward pull on the key while in the "Run" position, it can turn the engine off while you're driving down the road, which can cause an accident. In the event of an accident, it also causes the driver's airbag to fail. This problem can be caused by having several keys or a heavy fob on your key ring. Note that this is a defect in the switch...not in the key. The defect exists because GM was too cheap to engineer the switch correctly, saving them a few pennies on each unit.

Oh, by the way, I have had problems in the past with the car refusing to start a couple of times. I took it to the dealership at that time (before the recall) and was told that there was a problem with the ignition switch. The cost estimate for the repair was over $100. If it had been an earlier model it would only cost a few dollars, but GM changed the switch module somewhere along the line, probably to save those few pennies I mentioned earlier. Since it was an intermittent problem and the car would eventually start after waiting a few minutes, I opted to not have it repaired.

You would think that the correct solution for this recall would be to replace the defective ignition switches. That would be the responsible thing to do. Is that what GM is doing? Of course not. That would probably cost them a couple of dollars per unit plus some labor. Their recommended solution is to give each customer a key ring. Seriously, this is not a joke. A key ring. Just for the car key, you can't put your other keys on the ring. I have enough trouble finding the key ring I have already. Now I have to keep track of where TWO key rings are? Ain't gonna happen.

On the health front, I'm still waiting to see the oncologist and talk about chemo for my lung cancer. The incisions from my kidney surgery have almost completely healed, there are only a couple of small spots left that band-aids take care of.  My wife has been having continuing problems with ulcers resulting from her stomach bypass surgery and will be going in for another endoscopy to see if they're getting worse or not. If they are worse, the surgeon wants a do-over on the stomach surgery. We're praying that things are getting better....

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