More than eight months ago GM began recalling more than two million cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions, to fix a potentially deadly ignition-switch flaw. This came after waiting more than a decade to disclose the defect that is linked to two-dozen deaths. To date, that company has fixed less than half of the defective autos.
By all counts, the automaker has used every traditional method available to reach their customers. They've sent multiple mailings, emails, and it's even begun calling.
GM CEO Mary Barry told ABC news that, "In some cases we've gone to the owners' home and gotten the vehicle, gave them a loaner, and are working to fix it." To do this in every case, however, could take years to fix the estimated one million remaining cars.
In many cases, it appears that customers are deleting emails or voicemails, believing the communications are worthless customer service or promotional calls. Others may believe they messages are just payment reminders.
In any case, GM has been forced to brainstorm some new approaches to reach its current, post-purchase customers. The danger of the defect is very real, and despite blunt warnings in recall letters that the switches can randomly shut off the engine, the company has recognized that traditional communications methods are failing.