After the untimely death of 13 people, GM has finally fessed up about a manufacturing defect that lead to airbags not deploying in accidents.

GM has issued an unequivocal public apology for having dithered nearly a decade after it knew about a ignition switch defect in more than 1.6 million cars.

The Detroit News reports GM issued a directive to dealers in 2005 warning them about the problem. But then they denied there was need for a recall when they were repeatedly approached by federal regulators.

Here's what happened: The ignition switches were not tightened properly. Driving with a heavy key ring apparently had the effect of disengaging the airbags, resulting in the deaths of 13 people.

The takeaway here is do not have a heavy key ring. If you have a GM car, separate your key from the key ring.

The vehicles affected by the recall include the following:

  • 2003-07 Saturn Ion
  • 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2005-07 Pontiac G5
  • 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2006-07 Saturn Sky

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Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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