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GM dealers gear up for recall repairs

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GROVE CITY, Pa. - Local GM dealers are preparing for recall repairs as the company prepares to send out parts to service centers here and across the country.

Almost 50,000 replacement parts could arrive at General Motors dealerships as early as Monday. More than 2.6 million GM vehicles have been recalled, due to faulty ignition switches.

Esposito Automotive Group in Grove City is already registering vehicles for the ignition fix. Vehicle owners will receive a letter in the mail from GM, which will instruct them to contact their dealer and provide their vehicle's VIN-number. The service center will then order the part that corresponds with the vehicle's VIN.

"We're not going to receive a large box of ignition switches and by any happen stance install them into the vehicles, this is a very orderly procedure," Mike Lieberth says, dealership general manager.

It's a plan aimed to keep up with not only the volume of requests, but demand for new ignitions.

Lieberth is hearing behind the scenes that parts being made in mass, so that they'll be readily available.

Once vehicle owners supply his dealership with their information, the only cost drivers will incur is their time.

"We get the approval for the rental car if they choose and they can schedule it and we'll have a car available," Lieberth says. "It usually takes 24 hours to get the turn around."

Once the vehicle is taken into the shop, Lieberth estimates the repairs will take up to two hours max, depending on the model. He expects his dealership will wrap up repairs by June.

An auto industry expert says media attention in recent weeks could drive up service center requests at dealers, but it's also common for some motorists to keep on driving despite the problem.

"Everybody in the industry experiences these kinds of things with recalls," David Cole says, president emeritus for the Center for Automotive Research. 

Until motorists can get their vehicles into the shop, GM is telling owners their cars are fine to drive, as long as nothing is placed on their key chain.
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