General Motors is launching the "Ignition Switch Recall Completion Initiative," to speed up the February and March recall and recall of about 2.6 million cars that have the controversial faulty ignition switch.
According to an e-mail that was sent last June 13 to Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC dealerships in the U.S., GM is offering a bonus of $250 in credit, which can be redeemed at an online gift shop, to service and parts managers from dealerships that will be able to install at least 90 percent of the replacement kits for the ignition switch that were shipped to their respective branches by July 7.
In addition to the $250 bonus, GM will randomly draw 50 dealerships that will win $4,000 in credits, which will be divided between service and parts managers. GM will also randomly draw one dealership wherein its service and parts managers will be splitting up $10,000 in credits.
"As we continue to ramp up ignition switch recall parts availability, it is imperative that dealers quickly schedule customers to have their vehicles repaired," the e-mail reads.
The ignition switch recall is due to an issue where a jostled key in a car's ignition could cause the vehicle's engine to shut down, turning off important safety systems such as brakes and air bags. The issue has been linked to no less than 13 fatalities and 54 accidents.
The initiatives were confirmed by Ryndee Carney, a spokeswoman for GM, who said that the bonuses and raffles were part of a much broader program to accelerate the recall program to have the affected cars fixed.
A part of the program is a new e-mail campaign which aims to inform customers of the need to have faulty cars checked and repaired. Dealership managers are also given more relaxed restrictions on ordering the repair kits, to get the required parts to the branch as quickly as possible.
GM is releasing these initiatives amid the fact that of the 2.6 million vehicles involved in the recall, only about 155,000 so far have brought in their cars to get the ignition switch fixed.
The latest recall by GM involves 3.16 million vehicles with ignition keys that need to be replaced or reworked, following a study of the ignition issues that recalled 2.6 million cars in February.
This year, GM has released 44 separate product recalls involving over 20 million vehicles in North America.
However, despite the recall scandal that GM is currently embroiled in, the company experienced its highest monthly sales since August 2008.
"Recalls have become so frequent as to just be background noise to consumers," said Center for Automotive Research industry analyst Michael Schultz.