Supposedly this all began back in 1997.
General Motors is trying very hard to reach an agreeable settlement with victims and their families regarding those faulty (and possibly deadly) ignition switches. There’s no need to go into anymore details. However, a new report by Reuters claims that GM first became aware of ignition switches doing strange things before this year’s recalls. Back in 1997, GM dealers were supposedly informed of "switch-related defects" not long after the then new Chevrolet Malibu hit the market.
The keys either got stuck in the ignition or could be pulled out while the car was still running. Some ignition switches failed to start the engine or caused a stall. Some of these Malibus even stalled while on the highway. There’s a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about a New Jersey woman whose Malibu left her "stranded seven times" because the key was stuck in the ignition and couldn’t be turned. Her dealer replaced the switch twice but the problem was never solved. In 2000, there were similar complaints about the Impala. GM issued a service bulletin about those issues in the two models in 2001. Only last week did GM recall both. The reason? "Unintended ignition key rotation."