Here's the problem with recalling nearly 2.2 million cars: it's hard to find them all. So it's not surprising that General Motors is having a tough time tracking down 139,562 cars as part of one of its ignition switch recalls.
In a quarterly filing to NHTSA, GM disclosed that nearly 140,000 cars – 6.4 percent of just this one recall – couldn't be located. Many of those cars, including the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion, are more than 10 years old, which all but ensures that they've gone through multiple owners or could simply be collecting dust in a junk yard.
Historicallt, around 75 percent of recalls are completed, although that number drops of precipitously for older cars. GM is trying to combat that by sending out reminder postcards every three months, and promised to expand its outreach initiatives (online, direct mail, etc.) as part of its consent agreement with NHTSA.
As for the cars that are currently on sale, the Detroit News reports that GM sent out an urgent notice to dealers last month to remove those promotional keychains.