General Motors told its 4,300 dealerships late last month that the parts to replace faulty ignition switches on 2.6 million recalled small cars are finally flowing in "unprecedented volume."
So much so, in fact, that GM has run out of boxes.
A June 24 memo to dealers from GM's Customer Care and Aftersales division alerted dealership personnel to be on the lookout for ignition-switch parts arriving in boxes with an ACDelco graphic, instead of a GM label.
"This change, which is expected to last for 4-6 weeks," the memo explains, "is due to the unprecedented volume of parts being shipped and the resulting shortage of GM Parts boxes."
The memo reads: "We wanted to communicate this change to avoid any dealership question as to the authenticity of the part."
Dealership service directors probably won't mind what kind of boxes the switches arrive in. Many stores have reported backlogs of dozens or even hundreds of Chevy Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small cars awaiting replacement switches.
As of June 25, GM had repaired 296,462 of the cars, according to the gmignitionupdate.com Web site. GM has said it will have enough parts to fix the majority of the recalled cars by October.