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GM recalling nearly 780,000 older compact cars

Chevrolet Cobalts are among the vehicles susceptible to a faulty ignition switch, General Motors said.
Chevrolet Cobalts are among the vehicles susceptible to a faulty ignition switch, General Motors said.EPA/File 2010

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DETROIT — General Motors is recalling almost 780,000 older-model compact cars in North America because a faulty ignition switch can shut off the engines without warning and cause crashes.

The company says six people have died in 22 crashes linked to the problem in Chevrolet Cobalts from the 2005 through 2007 model years, and Pontiac G5s from 2007.

A heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads can move the ignition switch out of the run position, cutting off the engine and electrical power, GM said in statements and documents released Thursday by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If that happens, the front air bags may not work if there’s a crash.

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