DETROIT (AP) – General Motors is recalling nearly 780,000 compact cars in North America because the engines can shut down unexpectedly and cause crashes.
The company said six people have been killed in crashes related to the problem.
The recall affects Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s from the 2005 through 2007 model years.
U.S. safety regulators said the weight of the key ring and rough roads can move the ignition switch out of the run position, cutting the engine and electricity. If that happens, air bags may not work.
GM said there have been 22 crashes from the problem. All were off the road and happened at high speeds.
The company expects to have parts available in April. Dealers will replace the ignition switch for free. GM said owners should remove nonessential items from key rings until the problem is fixed.
The Cobalt was recalled in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for problems with its fuel system, and in 2005 and 2006 for structural problems.
The Associated Press Contributed to this report.