Thirteen deaths spur General Motors recall

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Jim Sanders is an antique silver dealer at Phyllis Tucker Antiques in Houston. He spends his days handling precious silver and other beautiful items. But there is nothing beautiful or precious about the ignition system on his 2003 Saturn Ion.

"It will malfunction several times a week now, it used to be only once every few months," Sanders said.

Sander's Saturn is one of the 1.62 million cars recalled by General Motors for an ignition system problem that can cause the car to inadvertently shut off the engine and the airbag protection system, with no warning, without the driver doing anything.

To date, a total of 13 people have been killed, and a total of 31 accidents are blamed on this problem with the ignition system, including two teenage girls, Natasha Wiegel and Amy Radamaker.

Their Chevy Cobalt slammed into a grove of trees at 55 mph, after the engine just shut off, and the airbags failed to deploy.

Sanders said knowing his car has the potential to shut off anytime, without warning, is horrifying. He wants the car fixed right now.

But that will not happen, because all of the Saturn Dealerships that he has called, tell him they don't have the parts, or kits to fix this problem yet, even though his car is on the list.

GM dealers that Local 2 Investigates has contacted said if you are one of the owners on this recall list, you have to wait to receive a letter in the mail from GM telling you to bring your car in.

Until then, Sanders and hundreds of thousands of other GM car owners on that list will just have to wait.

Sanders said he will, and he'll be driving with his fingers crossed.

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