General Motors has instructed car dealers in the US not to fit promotional key rings to customers’ ignition keys, in a further rollout of its ‘One Key’ policy.
The global giant has been dealing with a multi-million car recall to fix ignition switches that can unintentionally be switched off if a customer’s knee bumps against them. The problem is related to an internal mechanism that is too weak – but the issue can be made worse if customers hang lots of keys off the same keyring.
GM has advised customers not to do this – and now, it has taken this policy a step further by telling dealers not to fit promotional key rings to the ignition key either.
“GM is requesting that dealers no longer place rigid items, such as leather or plastic tags, on vehicle key rings,” said an urgent official notice to dealers disclosed to Automotive News.
US dealers are reportedly unconvinced by the new mandate, arguing that there has never been an issue related to free car dealer key rings in the past. Some are questioning whether it extends to things such as car park tags or garage door remote controllers, too.
The ignition key recall has hit GM hard. In the first half of 2014, it recalled a staggering 29 million cars, at a cost of around $2.5 billion. Second quarter profit was almost entirely wiped out as a result.