You might think that in light of a 1.4 million vehicle recall for an ignition switch problem cited in 12 deaths, people would stop buying used Chevy Cobalts, HHRs and the other recalled models. Nope! Americans gotta have their cheap used cars.
CNN Money reports that in spite of the recall and all the negative press surrounding the cars lately, demand for mid-2000s GM cars has not dampened in the least. According to Kelley Blue Book and Cars.com, prices for the cars are not only unchanged, they're up slightly in some cases.
The recall includes the aforementioned Cobalt and HHR, plus the Pontiac G5, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky. That's kind of funny considering the automaker itself is offering owners $500 at the moment to dump these cars.
Why are people still buying them? Because they're really affordable, says one analyst:
Another reason pricing has remained firm is that the cars are not very expensive to begin with. On average, they have about 100,000 miles on them, so they usually cost between $4,000 to $8,000, said Kelley analyst Alec Gutierrez.
"People shopping these cars are shopping for bargains," he said. "These prices tend to move pretty broadly, and pretty slowly."
Interesting, but maybe not surprising. If you know anyone who is investing in one of these cars, make sure they lighten their key rings until the part is fixed under recall.
That analyst also speculates that despite the anger some feel toward GM at the moment, most buyers may not end up caring, now or ever:
"My gut says GM has not lost the goodwill that it's built up in the last few years," said Gutierrez. "Provided that GM is able to get this fix out there, and we don't get a new story about severity getting worse, this will pass for GM."
In the meantime, GM also says they should get enough parts to have all the recalled cars fixed by October or so.