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General Motors Expands Huge Ignition Switch Recall

That massive General Motors recall got a whole lot bigger Friday. This latest move brings the total number of cars affected worldwide to 2.6 million.

General Motors Expands Huge Ignition Switch Recall
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That massive General Motors recall over a faulty ignition switch got a whole lot bigger Friday.

"The company announcing that 971,000 more cars would be added to the list. That's in addition to the 1.6 million recalled last month." (Via WJBK)

"All because faulty replacement ignition switches were sold to dealers and in the aftermarkets. They somehow made their way into the repaired vehicles." (Via WDIV)

According to General Motors' website, the recall now includes all model years of GM's Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky made from 2003 through 2011.

This latest move brings the total number of cars affected worldwide to 2.6 million. But GM is right to be cautious.

The Washington Post reports at least 12 deaths and more than 30 crashes have been linked to the defective ignition switches.

When these faulty ignitions are bumped in a certain way, they can switch from the "run" position to "accessory mode," which shuts down the engine and disables vital features like power steering and airbags. (Via CNN)

Now, there have been no reported fatalities connected to the 2008 to 2011 models.

But GM's CEO said in a statement Friday, "We are taking no chances with safety. Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn’t practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years.‚Äč"

Even before GM announced the expansion, the recall prompted several investigations by the U.S. Congress, the Department of Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as USA Today notes.

The company's relatively new CEO, Mary Barra, is expected to testify before Congress next week, where it's likely she'll be questioned about why it took GM so long to address this issue — it was first noted by the company more than 10 years ago.