Key to the Issue

Does one of these key rings resemble your own? Which one(s) would be safe to use if driving a recalled vehicle before it is repaired?

You probably wouldn’t pick my keychain, which is the first photograph in the second row from the bottom with a “tile” attached. You wouldn’t pick my sister-in-law’s or cousin’s either, since they both have several loyalty cards and accessories hooked to their car keys. But, maybe the Audi key ring: it only has a fob and a key. Or maybe the first keyring in the last row, which has a small heart keychain, a fob, and a key.

Unless you picked “none of the above,” you’d be wrong. The safest key ring for recalled vehicles pre-repair is no key chain at all. Even the ring or the key fob could be heavy enough to dislodge the detent plunger which could turn the key, putting the car in accessory mode or off. If the car isn’t in the on mode, power steering, airbags, and other features are not available.

Consumer Alert relating to GM ignition switch appearing on NHTSA home page in conjunction with December 14, 2014 press release
Consumer Alert relating to GM ignition switch appearing on NHTSA home page in conjunction with December 14, 2014 press release

As announced in the GM Newsletter FastLane, in July 2014, the company ran full-page ads in major newspapers:

I wonder how many people heeded the message….


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My husband likes to tease me by telling me I must be an alien. When I worked as a faculty member in a Business school, colleagues from other disciplines liked to say, “She’s not one of them.” I choose to take these comments as compliments and attribute them to the contradictory characteristics that define me. Highly analytical and results-oriented, I also approach interactions and challenges with empathy, curiosity, and wonder. I see myriad possibilities and delight at considering how to implement them. Since they are based on a solid theoretical foundation, most of them are reasonable and effective. In brainstorming conversations, others often respond to me by saying, “I didn’t think of that.” At the same time, I enjoy learning from everyone I meet, and I want everyone leaving a conversation with me to feel like they have been heard with compassion. My hobbies include knitting, making jewelry, reading, and hanging out with my husband and dogs. I am a long-time vegan committed to social justice and animal rights.

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