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GM Staff, Media Flagged Ignition Fault Long Before Recall

General Motors Co.’s own engineers, along with newspaper auto writers, were talking about the ignition switch defect in several GM models almost a decade before the carmaker announced plans last month to recall 1.6 million vehicles.

On June 19, 2005, the New York Times reported that Chevrolet dealers were telling Cobalt owners to shed items from heavy key rings so they wouldn’t bump the ignition into the off position. The reporter wrote that his own wife had knocked a Cobalt’s steering column with her knee and found the engine “just went dead.”