GM just recalled every single current-generation Camaro – that's 511,528 of them – because of an extremely similar problem to the one that has already killed more than a dozen people in Chevy Cobalts and other small cars.
The exact issue, according to the company press release company press release, is that a driver's knee can bump into the key fob, causing the key "to inadvertently move out of the 'run' position, with a corresponding reduction or loss of power."
The reason I'm saying it's similar, and not exactly the same as the issue that proved deadly in other cars, is because GM is saying that they ignition switch in the Camaro met all engineering specifications, and is not related to the original problem.
Weirdly, GM said they discovered the problem through internal testing, rather than waiting for a wrongful death lawsuit. It's all part of the "new norm for product safety at GM," the press release adds — although they also say there have been a few crashes?
GM is aware of three crashes that resulted in four minor injuries that it believes may be attributed to this condition.
So that's a bit odd. Maybe the engineers found the problem, and went looking for related instances in their crash reports? Or are these two things just contradictory?
We've reached out to GM to clarify the discrepancy, and will update when we hear back.
UPDATE: We just heard back from a GM spokesperson, who said that the crash reports were "inconclusive," but had similar symptoms as to what the engineers experienced:
The testing was done as part of a Cobalt et al follow-up on all 2014-16 GM vehicle programs. The condition with the Camaro was discovered as part of that testing, then we went back and looked at various sources – TREAD, NHTSA complaints and legal claims looking for potential matches. The crashes and injuries reported this morning are inconclusive – we do not know if the rotation of the key out of run to accessory caused the non-deployment of the air bags.