GM Says Vibes are Safe
DETROIT — After it came to light that General Motors' Pontiac Vibe was also impacted by Toyota's recall and included in the National Auto Auction Association's recommendation to cease selling at auction, the automaker performed some tests and has now declared this model as safe.
The 2009-10 Vibe is a sister vehicle of the Toyota Matrix. Toyota designed, engineered and built the Vibe through August at New United Motor Manufacturing, which was a joint project from GM and Toyota.
"Amid the media attention over the Toyota recalls for possible unintended acceleration that include the Pontiac Vibe, many customers are wondering whether it is safe to drive their 2009 and 2010 models of the Vibe," GM officials said in a statement. "Based on GM's experience, the Vibe is safe to drive."
GM said it had not been sent any relevant customer complaints about the 2009-10 Vibe before Toyota made its announcement. And a search of U.S. and Canadian databases did not bring up any complaints, either, officials noted.
However, apparently once news broke that the Vibe could have potential problems as well, GM then began receiving "several complaints of alleged sticking accelerator pedals."
"To the best of our knowledge, the Vibe vehicles were safely brought to a stop," executives noted. "We are investigating each of the claims."
The automaker emphasized that "none of the complaints have resulted in a crash or injury."
In response to the complaints, GM engineers performed braking tests on two Vibes Saturday at the Milford Proving Grounds.
After the tests, the automaker concluded that the vehicle's brakes can stop unintended acceleration.
"We ran the Vibe wide open at 60 miles an hour and the brakes were able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop within 169 meters, consistent with our internal requirement for brake performance," explained Martin Hogan, GM director of brake systems.
Should there be the "rare case" of a sticking throttle, GM advises drivers to firmly and steadily apply the brakes until the vehicle stops.
Drivers should not pump the brakes, as this can wipe out the brake system's available vacuum boost.
The OEM is also urging customers having problems with the accelerator pedal to park the Vibe immediately, and then have it towed to a GM dealer, who can inspect the vehicle further.
Continuing on, Toyota is also including the Vibe is the vehicles that will be repaired by the fix announced Monday. However, it will be GM dealers making the change to vehicles to give the added insurance against any possible accelerator problems.
GM officials said they will communicate with the approximately 99,000 Vibe owners in the United States and Canada as soon as the company receives additional information to share about the recall from Toyota.