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At a glance
General Motors announced four recalls Friday, bringing this year’s total to 38. Since Jan. 1, the company has recalled about 14.4 million cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. and 16.5 million in North America. GM’s previous recall record was 10.75 million vehicles in 2004.
The latest recalls include:
•Almost 512,000 Chevrolet Camaros, model years 2010 to 2014, to fix an ignition switch problem.
•Nearly 29,000 Saab 9-3 convertibles from the 2004 to 2011 model years.
•Nearly 22,000 Chevy Sonic subcompact cars from the 2012 model year with six-speed automatic transmissions and 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engines.
Associated Press
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2010. On Friday, it joined General Motors’ recall of nearly 512,000 Camaros.

GM recalls Camaros for ignition switches

– Ignition switches once again are causing problems for General Motors.

This time, the company is recalling nearly 512,000 Chevrolet Camaro muscle cars from the 2010 to 2014 model years because a driver’s knee can bump the key and knock the switch out of the “run” position, causing an engine stall.

That disables the power steering and brakes and could cause drivers to lose control.

GM said Friday it knows of three crashes and four minor injuries from the problem.

A spokesman said the air bags did not go off in the crashes, but GM hasn’t determined whether the nondeployment was caused by the switches.

GM said the Camaro switches met its specifications – unlike those at the center of a recall of 2.6 million small cars.

That problem has been linked to more than 50 crashes and at least 13 deaths.

Company spokesman Alan Adler said the problem occurs rarely and affects mainly drivers who are tall and who sit close to the steering column so their knees can come in contact with the key.

The Camaro switches are completely different from those in the small cars with ignition switch problems.

The Camaro switches, he said, were designed by a different person and meet GM standards for the amount of force needed to turn the cars on and off.

The Camaro key is integrated like a switchblade into the fob, which contains the buttons that let people electronically lock doors and open the trunk.

GM will replace the switchblade key with a standard key, attached by a ring to a separate fob.

Adler said that with the change, if the driver’s knee hits the fob, it doesn’t come in contact with the key.

“You can hit the key fob all day long, and it’s not going to have any impact on the ignition,” he said.

The problem was discovered during internal testing of ignition switches after the company recalled the switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and other small cars this year, GM said.

Adler said the Camaro ignition problem was the only one found in testing of all GM models.

GM, which has a truck assembly plant in Allen County, knew for more than a decade that the small-car switches were faulty, yet didn’t recall them until February.

The problem has brought on federal investigations, lawsuits and a $35 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.