GM recall fix only costs 57 cents, but is delayed weeks

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Documents submitted to Congress by General Motors show the piece needed to fix a defective ignition switch linked to 13 traffic deaths would have cost just 57 cents.

Chevy Cobalt drivers say dealerships have told them not to expect the parts until mid-April. "Maybe even late April," Cobalt driver Christina Hopkins told 3TV. "They insisted it was okay for me to keep driving it, but I insisted that I didn't want my family to be a statistic."

Hopkins is referring to the 13 deaths linked to the ignition problems in Cobalts. The ignitions have switched engines off, and deactivated airbags. "I'm frustrated and annoyed, and in the process of looking for a new car," Hopkins said.

Her dealership in Phoenix gave her a rental car for the next two weeks, while the staff waits for the part to come in.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, members of a House subcommittee have been demanding answers from new GM CEO Mary Barra about why the automaker used the switch in small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion even though GM knew the part didn't meet its own specifications.

Rep. Diana DeGette held up a switch to show how easy it was for a light set of keys to move the ignition out of the "run" position. That can cause the engine to stall and the driver to lose power steering and power brakes.

Since February, GM has recalled 2.6 million cars over the faulty switch, but lawmakers are asking why it took the company 10 years to issue the recall. Barra has repeatedly told the panel the answers to their questions will be part of GM's internal investigation of the matter.