GM small-car recall doubles to 1.6 million


DETROIT — General Motors Co. on Tuesday doubled to 1.6 million the number of small cars it is recalling to fix faulty ignition switches linked to fatal crashes.

Two weeks ago GM announced the recall of more than 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s. It is now adding 842,000 Saturn Ion compacts, Chevrolet HHR SUVs, and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars.

GM says a heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads can cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position and shut off the engine and electrical power.

That can knock out power-assisted brakes and steering and disable the front air bags. The problem has been linked to 31 crashes and 13 front-seat deaths.

In the fatalities, the air bags did not inflate, but the engines did not shut off in all cases, GM said.