Local GM vehicle owner: "At any point my car could lock up and I could die in this car"

Updated: 06/17/2014 6:44 PM
Created: 06/17/2014 5:33 PM WHEC.com

Millions of GM vehicles recalled over an issue that has lead to more than a dozen deaths across the country. This recall has brought frustration to owners. Many are waiting to learn what they need to do next.

The Saturn Ion is one of the models GM has recalled for having a faulty ignition switch. We got behind the wheel of one with an owner who says she's afraid to drive it.

“It's a chance I take every day to get in this vehicle.” It's an everyday practice Colleen Friedrich calls frightening. “At any point my car could lock up and I could die in this car.”

She's one of the millions of people nationwide who was informed earlier this year that ignition switch malfunctions were turning off car engines and disabling airbags, causing at least 12 deaths and 31 crashes. “As a driver I thought I could handle everything until I actually saw the news reports, until I actually saw these parents talking about losing their children.”

Something General Motors says it takes responsibility for. GM CEO Mary Barra said, “We simply didn't do our job. We failed these customers and we must face up to it and we must learn from it.”

GM’s CEO says the decision not to address the issue in the past does not reflect the current company culture. Barra said, “I think you've seen swift action being taken since the end of January. As it relates across the organization to the number of individuals that are no longer with the company, they represent many functions, engineering, legal, public policy, quality.”

But that's not helping Friedrich as she says GM informed her the parts to make her car safe won't be here until August. “This should be their main concern is safety, is getting these parts out instead of rolling out new cars.”

GM says it has arranged for customers who are particularly concerned to get a loaner. They say they've done that 60,000 times. They urge everyone impacted to drive with a single ignition key.

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