Driver recourse amid the GM recall

Driver recourse amid the GM recall

GM will cover the cost of a rental car if you request one or take advantage of steep discounts on new GM cars.


If you’re among the more than 235,000 vehicle owners affected by General Motor’s Canadian ignition switch recall, you don’t have to sit idly by while replacement parts are manufactured, shipped and installed—a process that could take months.

GM says it has conducted more than 80 different tests over extremely challenging road conditions on vehicles subject to the ignition switch recall and found the vehicles are safe to drive with only a single key on the key ring and the key fob removed.

Nevertheless, GM will cover the cost of a rental car if you request one at your local dealership. They’ll even cover the cost of additional fees and insurance premiums for younger drivers where rental companies require it. Not all dealerships will store your recalled vehicle however so it’s best to call in advance and have a plan B to park your recalled car.

All 2003-2007 Saturn ION, 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada), 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2009 Saturn Sky vehicles were recalled earlier this spring for faulty ignition switches linked to the deaths of 12 Americans and at least one Canadian.

Other vehicles that are part of GM’s subsequent recalls are not due to the ignition switch problem and as such may not be eligible for interim replacement vehicles. Again, it’s best to call your local dealership and ask.

GM is also offering steep discounts on new cars to affected drivers to encourage brand loyalty. Factory price cuts of between $1,500 and $4,500 plus other incentives are on the table, the Globe and Mail has reported. So, if you were looking to trade in your used Cobalt or similar vehicle, now may be the time to do it.

Or you could always join the class action lawsuit filed against GM in late March. Merchant Law Group LLP says it filed the claims against the Detroit-based auto maker and its Canadian subsidiary in several provincial courts in an effort to compensate Canadians who own the affected cars.