General Motors (GM) announced Monday that it will replace or rework ignition keys of around 3.16 million cars being recalled in the U.S, those from years 2000 to 2014.

GM’s safety recall came after an evaluation of the ignition issues that was conducted following a February recall of 2.6 million units of Chevrolet Cobalts as well as other small vehicles, which involved eight crashes plus six injuries.

The company says in a statement that the “ignition switch may inadvertently move out of the 'run' position if the key is carrying extra weight and experiences some jarring event.” If it does, “there is an effect on power steering and power braking. In addition, the timing of the key movement out of the 'run' position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the air bags not deploying.”

Of the 3,160,725 GM cars on recall, only the Chevrolet Impala is still in the production process, which goes on sale to daily rental fleets as Impala Limited.

The cars in recall are Buick Lacrosse MY 2005-2009, Chevrolet Impala MY 2006-2014, Cadillac Deville MY 2000-2005, Cadillac DTS MY 2007-2011, Buick Lucerne MY 2006-2011, Buick Regal LS & GS MY 2005 and Chevy Monte Carlo MY 2006-2008.

Ignition of these recalled vehicles might not be able to handle additional weight that hangs on a slotted key, GM explains, so it will add key inserts.

“The use of a key with a hole, rather than a slotted key, addresses the concern of unintended key rotation due to a jarring road event, such as striking a pothole or crossing railroad tracks,” the company states.

For vehicles with damaged key covers, new keys with holes will be supplied for free, instead of supposedly slots.

The rework of ignition keys will start in the coming weeks. For now, owners of cars recalled are advised to take off extra weight from key chains as well as to drive with the ignition key alone.

Aside from the recall on ignition keys, GM also issued other recalls in the U.S. with the total of 165,770 cars, under various safety issues: 68,887 units of Cadillac ATS MY 2013-14; 21,863 of Cadillac CTS sedans MY 2014; 57,192 of Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 HD MY 2015 and GMC Sierra 2500/3500 MY 2015; 16,932 of Cadillac CTS sedans with AWD MY 2011; 712 of Chevrolet Corvettes with optional Competition Sport Seats MY 2014; and 184 of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups MY 2014-15.

GM says it expects to shoulder an approximate recall-related cost of $700 million this second quarter, including the $400 million cost for May recalls.

The recalls of GM vehicles beset by various safety issues also raised concerns among government authorities.

“This is not just a Cobalt problem. Drivers and their families need to be assured that their cars are safe to drive,” says Fred Upton, chairman at Energy and Commerce Committee in Michigan, to The New York Times. 

"The recall is just sort of the tip of the iceberg in terms of what has to be done" Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is considered as one of the more vocal critics of GM, tells Reuters.

Research says GM’s CEO Mary T. Barra is set to appear before the House subcommittee that is probing into the said car defects.

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