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In an effort to persuade the owners of recalled vehicles to bring them in for repairs, General Motors has begun offering $25 gift cards to Amazon, Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks, and other popular merchants.
Owners of one of the estimated 1.96 million vehicles in the U.S. affected by the recall of GM cars with potentially defective ignition switches were notified of the new incentives by letter and in some cases email, reports USA Today.
Almost Half of Recalled Vehicles Remain Unrepaired
GM's gift card program is the latest unorthodox way the company has tried to compel vehicle owners to bring their recalled vehicles in for repairs. Last month, the company began attempting to contact car owners through social media platform Facebook.
Despite these attempts, the automaker reports that 45% of the recalled vehicles have yet to be repaired. This is somewhat underwhelming, considering the 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries caused by accidents linked to the faulty ignition switches that subject to the recall.
In some instances, consumers are reporting being turned away by dealers who don't have the proper parts or who falsely claim a car has already been repaired. In one case, reported by The New York Times, the daughter of a New York woman who had been denied repairs by two different GM dealers died in an accident allegedly caused by the defective ignition switch in her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.
Is Your Vehicle Affected by the Recall?
The ignition switch defect which led to the recall of millions of vehicles worldwide can potentially shut off all electronic power to a car while the car is in motion, disabling brakes, airbags, and the car's engine. The vehicles included in the recall include Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions, and other small cars made by GM.
If you believe your vehicle may be among the cars recalled or want to know if your vehicle is subject to other current recalls, find out by using the NHTSA's free online recall search tool using your vehicle's unique VIN number.