Of the 2.2 million small cars in the U.S. that GM recalled for faulty ignition switches, the automaker can't find nearly 140,000 owners. A July 25 regulatory filing to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 139,592 recall notices for the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and other compacts couldn't be delivered, according to The Detroit News. That amounts to 6.4 percent of the cars, which GM recalled in a series of campaigns between Feb. 25 and April 9.
"Six percent is not really high at all, in terms of unreachable [owners]," GM spokesman Alan Adler told us. "We couldn't find owners for them at the end of the quarter. I'm sure the number's much lower now. That's all June 30 numbers."
The information comes as the automaker has reached out to owners of the cars, which range from the 2003 to the 2011 model years, through mailed notices, social media, English and Spanish versions of a recall website, gmignitionupdate.com, and full-page newspaper ads, The Detroit News reports.
"We'll continue to go after folks to find them," Adler said. "We have a number of things that we'll be putting into place."
GM plans to have enough parts to fix all ignition-recalled cars by October. As of right now, Adler said, the automaker's dealers have fixed about 700,000 cars at a rate of 10,000 to 16,000 per day.
"A lot of people have ordered parts but haven't come in for the repair yet," he added. "Right now we have more parts than we do demand. We've actually crossed that line."
The automaker says its recall completion rate is 80 percent — slightly better than the industry's 75 percent average — within a year of sending out notices. But undeliverable notices for GM vary from zero to 2 percent or higher depending on the recall, according to The Detroit News.
In separate news, NHTSA said on Aug. 6 that GM is telling owners in a June 30 recall of more than 180,000 midsize SUVs — the Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X — that they should park their vehicles outside when not in use.
Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder