General Motors has been letting its customers drive cars with faulty ignition switches that can spontaneously shut down the brakes, steering and air bags.

They finally instituted a recall after being aware of the problem for 10 years and after at least 13 fatalities and more injuries. They are only gradually now letting the public know which models are affected. Apparently the cost to GM of the replacement part is 57 cents!

People are being told that they can continue to drive their recalled cars while waiting for GM to be able to replace the part (which may take months) as long as they don’t have other keys or the key fob on their key ring, or inadvertently hit the key with their knee. Some have wondered if going over a pothole could jostle the ignition switch, causing a shutdown.

Many people are understandably concerned about the safety of driving a car with a faulty ignition switch but rely on their cars to get to work, etc.

General Motors has not told customers affected by the recall that GM is obligated to provide, at no cost, a loaner or rental car through the dealers until the problem can be fixed.

GM is mandated to provide this service regardless of where the car was bought. This is important information for the public.

Roberta Zuckerman

South Portland