When first announced in mid-February, GM stated that about 800,000 vehicles were affected by the ignition switch recall. Shortly after, the figure doubled and then grew again later in the month to a total of about 2.6 million 2003-2011 Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac compact models.

On April 7, GM started making repairs on vehicles affected by the faulty part. Officials at GM say that the actual replacement process only takes about a half hour, but because of the sheer number of impacted vehicles, the repair could take weeks or even months due to limited availability of replacement parts.

Current vehicles on the expanded recall list including: 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt; 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR; 2005-2010 Pontiac G5; 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice; 2003-2007 Saturn Ion; and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky.

We published a blog post on March 20 highlighting auction prices for 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts; at that time, it didn’t appear as if the recall had a discernable impact on short-term wholesale prices. Fast forward to today and the same holds true.

Since recalled in early February, wholesale prices for the Cobalt have remained strong, and over the course of this period, average AuctionNet prices for 2005-2010 model year Cobalts have increased by a range of 1% to 10% through the week of March 31 (on a two week moving average basis).


Cobalt price movement has been directionally in line with the recent seasonally-induced rise in prices for all 2005-2010 model year compact cars. Take for example 2010 model year vehicles: since early February, average compact car wholesale prices have increased by 2%, and Cobalt prices have grown by an even better 6%. Price movement for other recalled GM models have been more-or-less directionally similar to what’s been recorded on the cobalt.

When Toyota prices suffered due to the unintended acceleration recall of nearly 11 million vehicles worldwide back in 2009 and 2010, it took approximately three weeks to notice a change in used Toyota prices. During Toyota’s recall there was a haze of uncertainty as to what was causing the problem… was it a slipping floor mat, malfunctioning pedal or some sort of programming glitch? This uncertainty struck fear into the hearts of consumers, and prices ultimately suffered. GM, on the other hand, was able to identify the issue quickly and worked with suppliers to create a fix, which has helped to ease consumer fears.

We’ll continue to monitor prices over the next few weeks and provide updates on any clear, abnormal change in movement.