A Look Inside GM's Cobalt Ignition Switch

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Here’s a closer look inside the controversial ignition switch installed on ’03-’07 recalled Chevrolet Cobalts and other GM small cars during the same model years. WardsAuto sister publication Machine Design disassembled a ’07 Cobalt to examine the part’s construction.

The switch was redesigned in later model years, although those vehicles have also been recalled. The defect potentially affects upwards of 2.2 million vehicles in the U.S. and 2.6 million worldwide. None of them are in production today. In the U.S., the part has been linked to 13 deaths and 31 crashes.

Discuss this Video 2

on Apr 9, 2014

Nice video on the components but fell short on the root of the problem. Barely mentioned the longer plunger and how it interacts with the female grooves on the mating part. This increased the rotational torque which is the main focus of the recall. The switches have always worked fine, they just turned too easy, especially when the key ring had 5 lbs of unnessary junk hanging from it.

on Apr 13, 2014

I have a '98 Honda CRV and it too had an ignition problem that would cause the car to switch off while you were doing 60 on the highway. When I went to the dealer they knew exactly what the problem was and fixed it as if there was a recall out on the car. But Honda had not put out the recall. They found it cheaper to just fix the cars that developed the problem. I was underwhelmed by their concern for my safety.

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