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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Recalled G.M. Cars Remain Unrepaired

Today's post is shared from
YONKERS — Nearly nine months after General Motors began recalling millions of its cars for a dangerously defective ignition switch, almost half of the vehicles still have not been fixed.
A spokesman for the automaker said it was increasing its outreach to owners through social media and a new call center staffed with 72 employees dedicated to contacting those who have not scheduled repairs.
But even owners who requested repairs months ago have been waiting, with dealers managing wait-lists and dozens of drivers writing to federal regulators in recent weeks asking why it was taking so long. Some of them are also raising safety concerns about the drawn-out timetable, as a recent fatal accident here suggests.
One of the unrepaired vehicles was a red 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that crashed here the night of Oct. 9, killing its 25-year-old driver, Brittany Alfarone. Her mother, Dierdre Betancourt, said she had tried to fix the car twice, but two dealers turned her away.
Now the police are investigating the single-car accident for possible ties to the ignition defect, which can cause power to cut out in a moving car, shutting down airbags and impeding power steering and brakes.
A few weeks before the accident, Ms. Betancourt said, the car had done precisely that, shutting off after hitting a bump while in the middle lane on a busy parkway in the Bronx.
A spokesman for the Yonkers Police Department said the car had been so badly damaged in the wreck that killed Ms. Alfarone that it...
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