Three quarters of a year after General Motors finally began recalling millions of vehicles for a dangerously defective ignition switch – a danger it had known about for years – almost half have still not been fixed.
In some cases the reasons for the inaction are the fault of the owners themselves. Many have not gone to the shop for the necessary repair. But in other cases – the numbers are opaque – “even owners who requested repairs months ago have been waiting, with dealers managing wait-lists and dozens of drivers writing to federal regulators in recent weeks asking why it was taking so long.”* This is no trivial matter. The defect in question has been linked not only to serious injury but also to deaths.
The continuing wait for repairs is unconscionable, certainly in those cases where drivers are aggressively prodding GM to take prompt remedial action. The question then is why is GM getting away with it? Why is there no public outrage targeted directly at the company – hey, how about a boycott of all GM products?! – in order to force it to act today, not tomorrow?
To this question are two answers, neither of them satisfactory. First, the overwhelming majority of us don’t care – or, at least, we don’t care enough to lift a finger. Second is the atomization, the isolation of individuals around the country who have been hurt by GM’s outrageous negligence, but have no idea what to do about it. They don’t know others in similar situations. And they don’t know how to organize a public protest that is loud enough and lasts long enough to make a difference – to fight General Motors until every last car that has a defective ignition switch has been repaired.
There is reason to revolt against GM until it gets all of its customers out of harm’s way. Connecting through social media would be a way to begin the rebellion – if only one or two angered Americans would step up to the plate and take the lead!