GM recalls 1.8 million cars over ignition switch problem; cites potential for fire

Friday, February 6th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors said Friday it is recalling 1.8 million cars to repair potential problems with the ignition switch that may cause a fire. No injuries have been reported.

The models involved include some 1998-2001 Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires built between March 1997 and April 2001. In addition, some 1998 Pontiac Grand Am, Oldsmobile Achieva and Buick Skylark cars built between March 1997 and January 1998 are being recalled.

The vehicles are to be serviced to prevent high electrical current flow through the ignition switch that may cause a fire in the steering column.

The automaker said there have been reports of 80 incidents of heat buildup, melted components, smoldering parts or fires in the ignition system and steering column. It said there have been no reported fatalities or injuries.

Most of the incidents happened within minutes of an unsuccessful attempt to start the car, GM said.

Some 1.4 million of the vehicles are in the United States; most of the rest are in Canada. Because of the number of vehicles involved, the repairs will occur in phases between March and June. The company will notify individual owners to tell them when to come in.