GM recalls nearly 780,000 compact cars

| Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

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

The company said 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If that happens, the air bags may not work if there's a crash.

GM said the six people were killed in five front-end crashes, all of which happened off-road and at high speeds. In each case, the ignition switch moved out of the run position, shutting off the engine and electrical power, spokesman Alan Adler said.

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