Barra Says Recalled Vehicles Safe to Drive With Key Alone

General Motors Co. (GM) Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra told customers that the automaker wants to make the recall of 1.6 million cars with faulty ignition switches go as smooth as possible and that the vehicles remain safe to drive with only the key.

“GM engineers have done extensive analysis to make sure if you only have the key or the key on only the ring that the vehicle is safe to drive,” Barra said today in a video linked to the company’s website. “In fact, when they presented this to me, the very first question I asked is: Would you let your family, your spouse, your children drive these vehicles in this condition? And they said yes.”

GM expects to begin having the parts to fix the issue arrive in dealerships on April 7, she said. Enough parts should be available for every vehicle no later than October, she said.

GM’s initial recall on Feb. 13 covered 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s. It was widened less than two weeks later by more than 800,000 additional vehicles. The faulty ignition switches have been linked to 12 deaths.

“We will learn from this and we will be a better company,” Barra said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in Southfield, Michigan, at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at Niamh Ring

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