GM prepares dealers for onslaught of recall work

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DETROIT — Common Motors is lining dealer inventories with rental cars as customers begin turning in Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other recalled designs with faulty ignition switches for repair.

GM has altered its rental car policy and has agreed to work with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis to guarantee rentals are offered to customers if demand exhausts dealer courtesy cars. GM also is providing clients towing services and a $ 500 price reduction on new automobiles in addition to the cost-free fix.

“Normally we call for a GM automobile when we do any rental assistance, but we’ve waived that,” said Jim Cain, a GM spokesman. “We’d anticipate most, if not all of the buyers, will acquire a new GM product but if a single is not offered, we do not want anyone to be inconvenienced.”

The automaker has also extra a provision to cover insurance coverage charges for drivers underneath age 25 or underinsured. Consumers might acquire an older rental motor vehicle if there are availability constraints, Cain mentioned.

Laura Bryant, a spokeswoman for Enterprise Holdings, explained the firm is communicating every day, if not hourly, with GM to help customers. Enterprise operates 900,000 rental vehicles in the United States.

The recall — and GM’s delay in responding to the problem initial observed in 2001 — has prompted a U.S. criminal investigation, an inner probe by GM, 2 congressional hearings in April and a number of civil lawsuits.

The recalled vehicles contain 2003-07 Ions, 2005-07 Cobalts, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstices, 2007 Pontiac G5s and 2007 Saturn Skys.

GM expects to record a charge of about $ 300 million on its very first-quarter earnings report to cover repair and rental costs of the ignition switch recall, plus the costs of 3 new recalls triggered by unrelated defects, affecting an extra one.5 million units.

Thousands of clients have obtained loaner cars from dealers, who are unable to buy the new ignition switch until April 6.

The restore can be created in 30 minutes. GM has asked dealers not to stock elements simply because of tight supplies. As an alternative, GM wants merchants to buy as necessary right after get in touch with with owners.

CEO Mary Barra explained the supplier creating replacement ignition components is including a 2nd production line to double the parts’ availability.

“It will be months ahead of all of the recalls are repaired,” Cain mentioned. “We’ll have a vital mass on or about April 6 and we’ll send follow-up letters.”

A directive sent to dealers early this month underscored the extent to which GM is relying on retailers for damage management.

GM advised carefully scripted answers to recall-connected queries that dealers probably will area in coming months from affected owners as effectively as other buyers who have witnessed the crush of media coverage and are pondering what went incorrect.

So far, Cain stated, the dealer response to the automaker has been constructive.

“It’s little bit of added function for dealers,” he said, “but when you place that up towards what we’re striving to achieve for the buyer — striving to fix their motor vehicle as speedily as we can with as minor inconvenience as possible –this is surely extraordinary.”

Mike Colias contributed to this report.

You can attain Ursula Zerilli at

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