| DETROIT/WASHINGTON, April 16
DETROIT/WASHINGTON, April 16 General Motors
engineers reported accidentally turning off ignition switches in
a Cadillac SRX with their knees more than eight years ago, and
they ordered a similar fix to a similar problem in smaller,
cheaper cars linked to 13 deaths, according to documents from
parts maker Delphi Automotive.
The documents, provided to U.S. safety regulators, show
GM used the same part, from the Cadillac Catera, to make
ignition switches more difficult to turn off on the 2007
Cadillac SRX and the 2007 Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt.
Delphi supplied the GM-designed switches for all of those
The documents are the first indication that GM's luxury
Cadillac brand may have experienced ignition-switch problems
similar to those that triggered the recall earlier this year of
2.6 million GM compacts, including the Cobalt and Ion.
GM did not immediately respond to requests for
The Delphi documents, released on Wednesday by the
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also may
indicate that earlier versions of the Cadillac SRX, from model
years 2004-2006, used a switch part from the 2003 Ion.
The original SRX ignition switch part also was used in the
2003-2007 Cadillac CTS sedan, according to online GM parts
catalogs reviewed by Reuters.
The Delphi documents did not make clear whether earlier
versions of the Cadillac SRX had ignition switch issues. The SRX
has not been recalled for ignition-switch related issues. GM did
not immediately respond to request for comments.
The original Cadillac ignition switch and the original
Saturn ignition switch carry similar GM part numbers: 12450257
for the 2004-2006 SRX and 12450250 for the 2003-2006 Ion.
GM requested a change to the Cadillac SRX ignition
switch in early 2006, months before the relatively unchanged
2007 SRX went into production, because "test drivers (were)
turning off the car with their knees while driving," Delphi told
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit and Eric Beech in
Washington, editing by Peter Henderson)